Support from the SDTC and Solvay primes Cyclic Materials for a future of recycling rare earth elements
Cyclic Materials is a Kingston-based Canadian startup that recovers rare earth elements from magnetic waste. The company's process reduces waste that heads to landfills and boosts the Canadian supply of these metals for the production of electric vehicles, renewable wind energy, electronics, and more. The company has just received a $3.6 million investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to scale the technology's development.
The SDTC's investment has come at a good time. Just recently, Cyclic Materials also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Solvay which outlines the intent of both parties to enter into an agreement for the production and supply of recycled mixed rare earth oxides (rMREO). Under the agreement, the supply of rMREO will be sent from Cyclic Materials' site in Ontario to Solvay's plant in La Rochelle, France.
Cyclic Materials is part of the large effort to build domestic supply chains in Europe and North America. Solvay has been working with Cyclic Materials to validate that Solvay's products are compatible with its rare earth separation process.
"Cyclic Materials will provide us key raw materials for our plant to successfully produce rare earths for magnet manufacture, electronics, and catalysts," says Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO. "As the European Commission finalizes the European Critical Raw Materials Act, supplies of recycled materials are becoming critical to European manufacturers. This MOU prepares us for a future offtake agreement which will further our efforts to provide certifiably recycled materials to these markets."
Cyclic Materials is one of 17 Canadian companies that received funding from the SDTC. The other companies include:
- Nano One Materials Corp., a technology company based in Burnaby, B.C., has created a patented and scalable industrial process to produce low-cost and high-performance cathode powders used in lithium-ion batteries. This growing technology company will receive $10M in funding.
- Hortau Inc., founded in Lévis, Q.C., provides farmers with real-time field and soil data to help them decide on irrigation and fertilizer applications. Soil tension probes report back to a mobile web app for improved monitoring. They will receive $6.8M in funding to further their work.
- Headquartered in Montréal, BrainBox AI are innovators of the global energy transition, and the company's HVAC technology uses AI to make buildings smarter and greener. SDTC is offering $6.5M in funding to this organization.
- Founded in 2008, Next Hydrogen Solutions Inc., of Mississauga, Ontario, has developed a new type of electrolyzer used in the production of green hydrogen and will receive $5M in funding.
- Toronto, Ontario-based 3E Nano Inc. develops nano-thin energy and solar control film coatings for various window types with plans to reduce greenhouse gases by 1 gigatonne per year by 2050. Founded in 2015, the company will receive $5M in funding.
- Hungry? New School Foods is a Canadian-based company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, working to develop plant-based alternatives to whole cuts of meats to reduce the harmful impacts of overfishing. They will receive $5M in funding to scale their process.
- Quebec's eNim (Seneca Exports) has innovated a hydrometallurgical process that recovers 95 percent of precious and strategic metals from low-to-medium grade printed circuit boards with 50 percent fewer GHG emissions. The company will receive $3M in funding.
- Female-led, Calgary-owned, sustainable agriculture company Synergraze Inc. has partnered with the T-Sou-ke First Nation to pilot a seaweed-derived livestock feed additive production at their Sooke, B.C. facility. This agrifeed supplement can reduce livestock methane emissions from cattle digestion. They have been awarded $1.3M in funding.
- Carbonova Corp., another female-led, SDTC returning company, has developed a process that captures CO2 and methane to create a carbon nanofiber to make greener and stronger concrete. This Canadian technology company based in Calgary has been awarded $2M in funding.
- Calgary-based ZS2 Technologies created a unique process to make low-carbon magnesium cement and will receive $2.6M in funding to further their work.
- Arolytics established an emission management software for oil and gas companies to search for the best combination of monitoring sensors, thereby reducing compliance costs. SDTC will award this Calgary-based company $0.4M in funding.
- Female-led, Edmonton-owned, Future Fields Cellular Agriculture & Research Ltd. will receive $5M in funding to scale their innovative technology that uses genetically engineered fruit flies to help produce proteins that can be used for a range of applications, including reducing the cost of lab-grown meats.
- Aurora Hydrogen is developing an innovative process that uses microwaves to heat natural gas to produce hydrogen, with no direct CO2 emissions or water use and at a competitive price point. This Edmonton-based company will receive $3.9M in funding.
- Provision Analytics is a Calgary-based company working to reduce food waste throughout the food supply chain through its novel data platform, which monitors food safety and operational data. They have been awarded $2.6M in funding.
- Visual Defence Inc., located in Richmond Hill, O.N. has developed an AI-enabled solution that allows cities to monitor road infrastructure and conditions in real time, increasing operational efficiency by 100 percent. They have been awarded $4M in funding.
- Symbient Environmental of Mississauga eliminates chlorine-containing disinfection by-products in municipal wastewater treatment using a low-cost disinfectant alternative. They have been awarded $1.5M in funding.