What happened

Shares of lead recycling company Aqua Metals (NASDAQ:AQMS) jumped Monday on news that it established a global partnership with chemical company BASF (OTC:BASFY). As of 2:10 p.m. EST, shares of Aqua Metals were up 18%. 

So what

BASF will participate in advancing Aqua Metals' AquaRefining lead recycling technology. The global chemical giant will supply electrolyte, assist in commercial aspects, and "explore technical improvements" to enhance the recycling technology's performance. 

lead battery

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The lead acid battery market is expected to grow from $46.6 billion in 2015 to $85.5 billion in 2025, according to Aqua Metals. Ninety-six percent of all rechargeable batteries are lead-based. The new partnership will have BASF supply electrolyte for the lead recycling process to all of Aqua Metals' new licensee facilities; BASF will also become the preferred supplier for all ongoing electrolyte needs for licensees. 

Electrolyte used in the AquaRefining process is specially formulated for the technology, according to the companies. Under the agreement, BASF "will offer AquaRefining to its existing and [prospective] battery recycling clientele, and Aqua Metals will incorporate BASF product into every initial deployment and system fill." The companies will also collaborate for technical advancements to improve performance and increase equipment life. 

Aqua Metals accomplished its transition to a capital-light business model in 2020 and fully retired its debt before the end of the year. Shares have soared almost 400% since mid-December when that goal was completed.