Aqua Metals and 6K Energy collaborate to establish sustainable US battery supply chain – Charged EVs


Aqua Metals has developed a process for recycling lithium-ion batteries that it says is much cleaner, more efficient and more cost-effective than current methods (see our recent in-depth interview with company execs). Now Aqua has signed a strategic supply agreement with battery materials supplier 6K Energy to establish a more sustainable supply chain for battery critical minerals.

Starting in 2024, Aqua Metals will deliver sustainably recycled battery materials from its Sierra ARC facility in Reno, Nevada, which 6K Energy will use to manufacture cathode active material (CAM) at its PlusCAM facility in Jackson, Tennessee. At full scale, Aqua will provide 30% of the nickel and lithium carbonate needed at 6K’s PlusCAM facility.

Based on today’s metals prices, the materials supplied under this offtake agreement will have an estimated value of over $50 million annually once the two facilities reach capacity.

“Our strategic agreement with 6K Energy represents a pivotal moment in our mission to build a more sustainable battery ecosystem from the ground up here in North America,” said Steve Cotton, President and CEO of Aqua Metals. “Together, we are demonstrating the viability and economic benefits of closed-loop recycling for critical battery metals and laying the foundation for the US to claim leadership in this rapidly accelerating global industry.”

Like Aqua’s recycling processes, 6K Energy’s UniMelt manufacturing process can be powered entirely by clean energy, and has a clear pathway to net-zero operations in the future. The companies’ patented processes also eliminate the production of thousands of tons of sodium sulfate waste—a byproduct of traditional cathode production and recycling methods.

“This agreement extends beyond a supply contract—it’s a partnership aimed at redefining industry standards for environmental responsibility and cost efficiency in battery material production,” stated Sam Trinch, President of 6K Energy. “6K Energy will be the first in North America to incorporate large quantities of sustainably recycled metals into our battery materials, using our low-cost, low-carbon-footprint CAM production technology.”

Source: Aqua Metals

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