Aqua Metals acquires Ebonex IPR for $2.3 million

Aqua Metals, a firm that recycles lead acid batteries via an electrolytic process rather than smelting, announced at the end of April that it had acquired UK-based Ebonex IPR for 123,776 shares ($2.2 million) of Aqua Metals common stock and $100,000 in cash.

Ebonex is a pre-revenue intellectual property-based company that has developed patented technology in the field of advanced materials and manufacturing methods for bipolar lead acid batteries.

In one sense the acquisition by Steve Clarke, chairman of Aqua Metals, is a return to his roots. In the early 1990s he and his father set up a firm called Atraverda that aimed to commercialize their research into Ebonex — an oxide of Titanium — in 1987. In the intervening period, among other things, he has also worked on developing bipolar lead batteries.

Clarke told BESB that the move across Europe to 48V for automotive batteries had “changed the commercial dynamic for bipolar batteries — earlier on we were looking at 12V batteries. Ebonex has greater electoral conductivity than carbon but we’re looking at it not just for bipolar batteries but regular ones.

“Working with this technology will allow us both to advance our own nano-structured lead-based materials and leverage synergies with Ebonex materials. Together, we believe that we have the potential to significantly advance the performance and cycle life of lead acid battery chemistry, in an easily recycled product,” said Clarke.