Cambridge Cleantech member Aurelius recently won two awards at the prestigious Rushlight Show in London. In partnership with the University of Cambridge, Aurelius is commercialising a green process for the recycling of waste lead-acid battery paste. The technology enables processing of the spent paste in water (hydrometallurgy) rather than in fire (pyrometallurgy). Compared to the incumbent industry, it reduces the carbon footprint by 80-89%, eliminates noxious gases (such as sulphur dioxide) at no added cost, cuts slag by more than 90%, and saves around 7,000 mWh per 10,000 tonnes of battery throughput.
The Aurelius team is working hand in hand with smelters and battery producers to deploy recycling systems in all continents. Early electrochemical testing carried out at the University of Cambridge has shown an improvement relative to current lead-acid batteries by an order of 30%.