The agreement covers Europe, North America and China and also sees Johnson Controls buying 5% of the California-based startup.
Aqua Metals recently opened its first plant in McCarran, Nevada, using an electrochemical process for recycling batteries. Unlike smelting, the AquaRefining process is a continuous, room temperature, water-based process that is non-polluting. The modular system allow the lead-acid battery industry to simultaneously improve environmental impact and scale production to meet demand.
"Our partnership with Johnson Controls is a tremendous step forward and is an opportunity for us to work with the global leader in automotive battery manufacturing and responsible recycling," said Dr Stephen Clarke, chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals. "We will build on this exciting relationship in order to enable clean and efficient battery recycling around the world."
As the first licensee of the technology, Johnson Controls will supply Aqua Metals with lead-acid batteries to recycle as a service as part of its closed-loop network and buy the metals produced from the recycling.
"Agreements like this are a part of our continuing strategy to invest in clean technologies, building on our commitment to create a more sustainable and environmentally responsible industry," said Joe Walicki, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions.