Aqua Metals signs definitive licensing deal with ACME Metal Enterprise for lead recycling in Taiwan

by Margaret Lau
Agreement 'will enable ACME to produce ultrapure lead metal in Taiwan with vastly improved emissions and worker safety'. Image: Aqua Metals
Aqua Metals has signed a definitive agreement to deploy and license its lead battery recycling technology at ACME Metal Enterprise’s lead refining facility in Taiwan.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the agreement includes terms for licensing Aqua Metals’ AquaRefining technology for use at ACME’s Keelung site – and could see the companies work to license the technology to other companies in Taiwan.

The agreement also sets out plans for the "phased deployment” of AquaRefining equipment at Keelung, with the first phase of operations starting by the fourth quarter of this year.


Aqua Metals said the move will enable ACME to produce ultrapure lead metal in Taiwan with vastly improved emissions and worker safety.

The partners also intend to develop a process to convert briquettes fabricated with AquaRefining technology directly into battery-grade lead oxide using a ball mill.

Aqua Metals and ACME could also work with "one or more large battery manufacturers to develop a second methodology to produce oxide directly from AquaRefined material”.

Water-based process

A letter of intent for the deal, signed by the companies earlier this month, had given both sides 60 days to finalise a definitive agreement.

AquaRefining utilises a room temperature, closed-loop, water-based process combined with non-toxic, biodegradable organic proprietary electrolyte to produce 99.997% pure lead. Aqua Metals said this is "equal to or better than newly-mined lead, but with no need for secondary processing".

Meanwhile, Aqua Metals has confirmed it will receive a final insurance payment of $5.25m (£3.8m), following a fire at its Nevada plant in 2019. The company has now collected or secured a total of $30.25m of insurance proceeds related to the fire.

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