Dragonfly Energy Successfully Uses Lithium Hydroxide From Aqua Metals To Manufacture Battery Cells

By Amit Chowdhry • Sep 25, 2023

Dragonfly Energy (the maker of Battle Born Batteries and an industry leader in energy storage), in collaboration with Aqua Metals (a pioneer in sustainable lithium battery recycling), has successfully used high-purity lithium hydroxide that recovered by Aqua Metals from recycled lithium-ion batteries to manufacture a lithium-based battery cell using Dragonfly Energy’s patented dry battery electrode coating technology. And the successful recovery of battery-grade lithium hydroxide and cycle testing of a sustainably manufactured lithium battery cell is a significant advancement for sustainable lithium-ion battery production for the companies.

This process demonstrates a potential path towards a more circular and sustainable lithium battery manufacturing industry that addresses battery materials’ finite and costly nature. 

Aqua Metals (a clean battery recycling innovator also based in Reno, Nevada) recovers high-purity lithium hydroxide from lithium-ion battery ‘black mass’ – which is the industry term for the metallic mixture of crushed and shredded end-of-life battery cells that contain valuable minerals, including lithium. And Aqua Metals provided this high-purity lithium hydroxide to Dragonfly Energy, which produced a standard CR2032 cell using the company’s patented dry powder coating process. This strategic initiative confirms that sustainably recycled materials can meet the high standards for advanced battery cell production and can be essential to building a circular supply chain for the domestic battery industry.

This process demonstrates the strong potential for a future closed lithium loop in Nevada where all stages of lithium battery production, from exploration to manufacturing and then recycling, happen within the state. Nevada is well-positioned as the starting and ending point for lithium batteries. And the state is believed to have the largest source of lithium in North America. It is a growing market for electric vehicles, consumer electronics, and many consumer and industrial end-user applications for energy storage technologies. 


“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. This is yet another way Dragonfly continues to develop energy storage solutions with widespread applications using sustainable measures.”

— Dr. Vick Singh, Director of Research and Development for Dragonfly Energy

“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. 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.”

— Steve Cotton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aqua Metals

“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 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.”

— Dr. Denis Phares, Chief Executive Officer of Dragonfly Energy