Watercycle Technologies Announces Completion of Investment Round, Led by Aer Ventures, to Develop Their Direct Lithium Extraction Technology
Watercycle Technologies Limited has today announced the completion of its pre-seed funding round led by Aer Ventures. Watercycle Technologies, a spinout of The University of Manchester, has developed a range of advanced graphene-based membranes and systems to extract lithium and other minerals from brines and water solutions.
Watercycle Technologies has already demonstrated that its solutions can extract lithium from UK-based brines and can recover lithium from lithium batteries during the battery recycling process. This investment will allow the business to further develop their prototype solutions and test them at scale at live extraction and recycling locations.
Successful development of the next stage will allow the business to demonstrate its potential to support the UK and Europe in their aim to be self-sufficient in lithium. The technology also shows the potential to refine the lithium up to battery-grade, which will allow the processing of battery-grade lithium to occur at production sites around the world. Together, these capabilities could significantly improve the environmental footprint of lithium production for EVs.
Dr Sebastian Leaper, CEO of Watercycle Technologies Limited, explains: “Our lives are increasingly dependent on the ebb and flow of lithium ions. They store and transport an ever-greater portion of the energy we need for our devices, cars and power grid and enable us to transition away from fossil fuels.
Access to significant quantities of low-cost, low-carbon lithium is fundamental to tackling climate change and we at Watercycle Technologies are striving to make this possible
We are very grateful for the support of Aer Ventures in this journey, as they share our ambition to help build a sustainable, circular economy for future generations to enjoy.”
Chris Rowley, Managing Partner of Aer Ventures, added: “Watercycle Technologies is exactly the type of business we exist to support.
With a sustainable vision and a proven technology, the business has the potential to solve one of our major environmental problems – the need for critical minerals to support the transition to Net Zero
With serious commentators such as the IEA estimating the world could require over 50 times more lithium by 2040 than it produced in 2020, the innovation Watercycle Technologies provides has never been more essential and we are pleased to support the business in taking this game changing technology to market.”
Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of The University of Manchester Innovation Factory, said: “This new University of Manchester spinout has amazing potential to significantly reduce the cost and environmental impact of lithium production. It also enables countries with access to lithium-rich brines and recycled batteries, like the UK, to become self-sufficient in this strategically vital raw material. Although initially focussing on the extraction of lithium salts, Watercycle Technologies’ membranes and systems can easily be adapted to extract other high-value materials and be used in applications such as de-salination.”
To find out more about the work of Watercycle Technologies Limited, visit: www.watercycletechnologies.com
The University of Manchester Innovation Factory’s core mission is to use the IP developed at the University to create positive social, economic, and environmental impact. The Innovation Factory works with academic and student inventors to identify research that has the potential to create value. It then translates these into a form where they can be used to benefit society as a whole. Access to innovations may be created via technology licensing or the formation of new spinout companies. The Innovation Factory aims to provide a world class service to academic colleagues as well as industry; entrepreneurs; licensees; VC & angel investors and corporate venturing partners.