Cylib secures seed funding for greener battery recycling

In Germany, Cylib GmbH, recently spun off from RWTH Aachen University, is a start-up for holistic battery recycling. The company has received 3.6 million euro in seed funding to make the recycling of lithium-ion batteries more efficient and environmentally friendly.

At the heart of Cylib’s future business development is a proprietary, sustainable recycling method that the startup says is capable of recovering all materials from a lithium-ion battery with “unprecedented efficiency and in an environmentally friendly way”.

The new company points out that conventional recycling processes have a heavy ecological footprint, produce considerable quantities of CO2 in recycling processes and require the extensive use of chemicals. Cylib says that this renders most of these processes unable to meet targeted EU regulatory requirements. Cylib claims to have found a way of reusing the CO2 emitted in recycling processes and eliminating the need for chemicals to recover lithium and graphite. Cylib calls this “green battery recycling”. On its website, the startup speaks of a recycling efficiency of its method of over 90 per cent.

With the seed capital from the seed round, Cylib is now planning to set up a pilot factory in Aachen to industrialise the processes that have been developed over several years with partners from different sectors.

“We are currently in talks with various companies about strategic partnerships. These include automotive OEMs, cell producers, and raw material suppliers,” says Co-Founder and COO Dr Gideon Schwich.

Investors in the seed round include Vsquared Ventures and Speedinvest, as well as Lawrence Leuschner from Blue Impact Ventures (also CEO of Tier Mobility), Lieferando founder Kai Hansen, Customcells founders Torge Thönnessen and Leopold König, Silexica founder Maximilian Odendahl and Karim Jalbout, CPO at Lilium.

The spin-off of Cylib GmbH took place this year. The company is headed by CEO Lilian Schwich, CTO Paul Sabarny and managing director Gideon Schwich. Lilian Schwich and Paul Sabarny were instrumental in setting up the battery recycling group at the IME of RWTH Aachen University, an institute that deals with metallurgical process technology and metal recycling. The three founders are now determined to industrialise the processes that have been developed b the group over several years.

“Today’s battery production is not green. With our recycling process, we enable the future production of sustainable battery cells,” says CEO Lilian Schwich. “For the huge amount of batteries that will be required for electromobility in the future, a circular economy is required. Our holistic approach to recycling helps protect people, environment, and climate as much as possible.”

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