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Aqua Metals acquires Ebonex IPR and its bipolar ceramic lead-acid battery technology; less lead, lighter weight

18 April 2017

Aqua Metals, which is commercializing a non-polluting electrochemical lead recycling technology called AquaRefining (earlier post), has acquired UK-based Ebonex IPR Limited for 123,776 shares of Aqua Metals common stock and $100,000 in cash. Ebonex is a pre-revenue IP-based company that has developed patented technology in the field of advanced materials and manufacturing methods for advanced lead acid batteries.

Aqua Metals says that Ebonex’s advanced materials have the potential to advance lead acid chemistry with higher energy density, increased cycle life and faster charging.  If successful, this could mean high performance lead acid batteries that can be distributed through existing closed loop supply chains and then fully recycled.

Ebonex is developing the Atraverda ceramic bipolar lead-acid battery, which Ebonex says has achieved higher gravimetric density and volumetric density at significantly improved cycle life and is ready to move from industrial research to field trails.

A conventional battery lead-acid battery comprises individual 2-volt cells, made up of stacks of positive and negative plates (lead alloy grids pasted with electrode material), interspersed with separators and placed in plastic compartments. Cell plates of the same polarity are connected to lead alloy straps which connect to the next cell and so on. The cell at either end of the battery is attached to a lead post—the positive and negative terminals. Little has changed in this basic layout for around a hundred years.

In the Atraverda ceramic battery, multiple layers of grids, paste and separators are replaced with a single layer of conductive material, the patented Ebonex Bipole Element, which both supports and divides the positive and negative electrode paste. Plastic cell compartments, lead alloy straps and other components of a traditional battery are no longer required in the new battery. Each Ebonex Bipole Element, when assembled with electrode paste, forms a 2-volt cell equivalent to its traditional counterpart.

Not only is the Atraverda battery lighter, easier to manufacture and more eco friendly, it’s also more efficient, as the bipolar technology shortens the current path between positive and negative terminals.

The new battery uses 40% less lead than comparable conventional batteries.

A key part of our mission is to enable higher performance lead acid batteries and to leverage its leadership in the circular economy—where products can be built, used and recycled instead of ending up in the environment or landfill. We believe that there is a multi-billion dollar market opportunity for advanced lead acid batteries in upcoming automotive and stationary battery applications. Importantly, this acquisition will allow Aqua Metals to accelerate the introduction of higher value products and services to support these opportunities.

“Working with this technology will allow us both to advance our own nano-structured lead based materials and leverage synergies with Ebonex materials. Together, we believe that we have the potential to significantly advance the performance and cycle life of lead acid battery chemistry, in an easily recycled product.

—Dr. Stephen R. Clarke, Chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals

April 18, 2017 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (3)

Comments

I'm excited for this. I wonder how soon to market.

Lead acid chemistry is one of the few that can sustain 100% charge level for a significant period of time without stressing the cells. I'm thinking about an rv, and what that could mean for off grid power. I was looking into SLAs but this sounds like a better and hopefully cheaper option.

Many 48 V strat-stop applications appear to be moving to Lithium Ion, I suppose these guys think they can slow that trend...

The automotive industry lives on cost.  If some alternative configuration of lead-acid is cheaper, it'll get used.  Believe it.

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