Dragonfly Energy Holdings Corp., the Reno, Nevada-based producer of Battle Born Batteries, has developed a lithium-based battery cell using lithium hydroxide recovered from lithium-ion batteries by Aqua Metals Inc. The lithium-based battery cell was manufactured using Dragonfly Energy’s dry battery electrode coating technology.
The process demonstrates a potential path toward a more circular lithium battery manufacturing industry, Dragonfly Energy says.
“This is an exciting step forward for the emerging lithium battery industry as we have qualified the high-purity lithium hydroxide Aqua Metals recovers from recycled lithium batteries to manufacture new battery cells,” says Vick Singh, Dragonfly Energy director of research and development. “This is yet another way Dragonfly continues to develop energy storage solutions with widespread applications using sustainable measures.”
Aqua Metals, a battery recycler also based in Reno, recovers lithium hydroxide from lithium-ion battery black mass, the metallic mixture of crushed and shredded end-of-life battery cells that contain critical materials, including lithium.
Dragonfly Energy calls the initiative “strategic” and says it confirms that recycled materials can meet the high standards for advanced battery cell production and be an essential part of building a circular supply chain for the domestic battery industry.
“This is an exciting milestone for us in establishing the efficacy of our sustainable recycling process and affirming that our high-purity recovered material is battery grade and of equal quality to virgin mined material, with a much lower carbon and waste footprint,” Aqua Metals President and CEO Steve Cotton says. “Dragonfly Energy is at the forefront of manufacturing high-performance lithium batteries, and we believe our continued collaboration is demonstrating why building a circular supply chain for critical minerals in Nevada is integral to our clean energy future.”
According to Dragonfly Energy, the process demonstrates the potential for a future closed lithium loop in Nevada in which all stages of lithium battery production, from exploration to manufacturing and then recycling, happen within the state. Nevada is believed to have the largest source of lithium in North America and is a growing market for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and the many consumer and industrial end-user applications for energy storage technologies, the company says.
“The use of recycled lithium addresses two major initiatives for Dragonfly Energy; it helps close the loop by filling in that all-important recycling component, and it provides a ready and sustainable supply of lithium for use in upcoming cell production,” Dragonfly CEO Denis Phares says. “Dragonfly Energy is committed to securing a robust supply chain that is compliant with the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, relating to both mineral processing and battery recycling goals, to support our growth and our future expansion efforts while practicing material circularity and sustainability.”