In the United States, MIT spin-off SiTration raised $2.35 million in pre-seed funding. This should allow the start-up to accelerate the development of its technology for recovering critical materials in the lithium-ion battery recycling process.
SiTration claims to have pioneered a new filtration membrane technology that can potentially eliminate the need for energy and resource-intensive chemical and thermal separation methods when recycling materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel from used EV batteries.
The startup says its patented conductive membrane technology was developed through years of research and development at MIT. SiTration claims it can reduce the energy needed to extract materials by up to ten times. At the same time, the technology should enable a recovery efficiency of over 95%.
“By replacing the chemical and thermal separation methods used in battery recycling today with an electrified approach, SiTration enables ultra-efficient recovery of materials critical to a more sustainable future,” said Brendan Smith, co-founder and CEO of SiTration, who invented the technology during his doctoral research at MIT and launched SiTration as an Activate Fellow. “Our vision is to minimize impact and maximize circularity in the life cycle of critical materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel. Our team couldn’t be more excited to partner with Azolla Ventures and E14 Fund to achieve this mission.
SiTration is still very young, having been spun off from MIT in 2020 by co-founders Brendan Smith and Jeffrey Grossman. General Partner of Azolla Ventures and SiTration Board Member Matthew Nordan notes that to meet the automaker’s existing electrification plans, lithium supply needs to be increased 15 times. He points out that even if a supply increased was not a requirement, car manufacturers are required by regulation to dispose of used batteries responsibly. “SiTration is poised to provide a cleaner, more efficient recycling technique that will unlock low-cost reuse of critical battery materials,” Nordan says.