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JCI, Aqua Metals tie knot on $10.6M battery recycling deal

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Johnson Controls International Plc (JCI) has entered a strategic partnership with Aqua Metals Inc. calling for it to license the company’s electrochemical battery recycling technology.

Although terms of the agreement were not disclosed, the deal makes JCI the first company to license Aqua Metals’ AquaRefining technology. JCI also will supply Alameda, Calif.-based Aqua Metals with batteries to recycle as part of a closed-loop network, purchase lead produced by Aqua Metals and acquire nearly 5 percent of its outstanding shares, which equates to $10.6 million, a company spokeswoman confirmed to AMM.

“The licensing agreement essentially takes the AquaRefining modules and puts them into JCI’s existing operations, as well as
greenfield builds. The agreement includes the physical equipment, know-how, test support and warranty,” Steve Cotton, chief commercial officer of Aqua Metals, confirmed to AMM.

“We’ve been working with Aqua Metals for quite some time,” Joseph Walicki, vice president and president of JCI’s Power Solutions division, told AMM. “We take pride in the fact that we are a benchmark, and operate to a high set of standards. And this is a technology
that fits into that set of values.”

Aqua Metals Inc. last year produced the first-ever AquaRefined material at its flagship commercial lead-refining facility in McCarran,
Nev., and has supplied samples for evaluation. AquaRefining’s reusable water-based technology produces ingots of more than 99.99-percent purity from recycled batteries.

Executives from Aqua Metals and JCI said specifics regarding the licensing agreement are still being determined. Due to the scope of the agreement, the pair expects to cement the final details by the end of 2017.


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