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Johnson Controls partners with and invests in Aqua Metals for lead-acid battery recycling technology

Johnson Controls (JCI), the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive batteries, finalized an agreement with Aqua Metals covering North America, China and Europe for its cutting-edge electrochemical battery recycling technology. (Earlier post.) Under terms of a multi-faceted deal, the company is investing in Aqua Metals (AQMS) and licensing the technology.

Under the agreement Johnson Controls will:

  • Become the first licensee for AquaRefining technology

  • Supply Aqua Metals with batteries to recycle as a service, as part of the Johnson Controls closed-loop network

  • Purchase AquaRefined metals produced from Aqua Metals’ facilities

  • Acquire just under 5% of Aqua Metals outstanding shares

Aqua Metals, which recently opened its first plant in McCarran, Nevada, uses an advanced electrochemical process for recycling batteries. As it scales up capacity, Aqua Metals plans to hire hundreds of employees for existing and future operations across the United States.

Unlike smelting, AquaRefining is a room temperature, water-based process that is fundamentally non-polluting. These modular systems allow the lead-acid battery industry to improve environmental impact and scale production simultaneously to meet rapidly growing demand. Aqua Metals is based in Alameda, California, and has built its first recycling facility in Nevada’s Tahoe Reno Industrial Complex.

Johnson Controls Power Solutions supplies approximately 152 million batteries every year to automakers and aftermarket retailers. Its full range of lead-acid and lithium-ion battery technology powers nearly every type of vehicle for our customers, including traditional, start-stop, micro-hybrid, hybrid and electric. Johnson Controls’ recycling system has helped make automotive batteries the most recycled consumer product in the world. Globally, 15,000 employees develop, manufacture, distribute and recycle batteries at more than 50 locations.


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