Aqua Metals Inc., Alameda, California, has announced it has secured another patent for its AquaRefining electrochemical lead recycling equipment and processes. This second patent is from the Australian Patent Office. The first patent was issued in June 2017 by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).
The name of the Australia Patent No. AU2014353227 is “Devices and Method for Smelterless Recycling of Lead Acid Batteries.” The patent was issued by the Australian Patent Office, a division of IP Australia, which is an agency of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
More than 9 million lead-acid batteries are purchased each year in Australia, according to the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative.
Aqua Metals says this second patent is among several international patents the company plans to secure in the coming months.
“This Australian patent is the second of several international patents we expect to be issued,” says Stephen Clarke, chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals. “Australia is a significant future opportunity for us given that the government is committed to recycling programs. We are proud of the efforts of our team and believe this latest achievement is yet another notable milestone in the path to commercializing our cutting-edge lead recycling technology.”
Aqua Metals says its intellectual property strategy includes planned filings for more than 20 patents, organized into several families covering “matter,” “devices” and “processes” in up to 20 different regions.
Unlike smelting, AquaRefining is a room temperature, water-based process that is nonpolluting, according to the company. These modular systems allow Aqua Metals to vastly reduce environmental impact and scale lead-acid recycling production capacity by building its own AquaRefineries and licensing the AquaRefining technology to partners. The company says this meets growing demand for lead to power new applications including stop/start automobile batteries, which complement the vehicle’s main battery, internet data centers, alternative energy applications including solar, wind and grid scale storage.