Watercycle Technologies, a spin-out company from The University of Manchester, has secured initial funding for its technology that uses graphene-based membranes and systems to extract lithium and other minerals from brines and water solutions.
Led by Sebastian Leaper, a former PhD student from the Department of Materials at Manchester, Watercycle Technologies has taken Tier 2 membership of the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), with lab space and access to advanced 2D materials facilities and expertise in prototyping.
The pre-seed funding round has been led by Aer Ventures, an investor focused on innovations around sustainability.
Watercycle Technologies has reportedly already demonstrated that its solutions can extract lithium from UK-based brines and can recover it from lithium batteries during the 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.
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.