RENO — A California-based company has broken ground on a $30 million battery recycling plant that federal officials say will be the first of its kind in the world.
AquaMetals is building the plant at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center east of Reno where Tesla Motors is building its electric battery factory.
The U.S Department of Agriculture guaranteed a $42 million business loan for the Oakland-based company to complete the world’s first commercial-scale electro-chemical lead battery and recycling plant.
AquaMetals officials say the technology they call “AquaRefining” is more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional recycling.
USDA Rural Development spokeswoman Kelly Clark told the Reno Gazette-Journal it uses a new water-based process to remove the lead instead of smelters that create toxic waste.
Operations are expected to begin in 2016.