RWTH spin-off Cylib raises seed funding

The battery recycling start-up Cylib, which was spun off from RWTH Aachen University, has been able to increase its seed funding by eight million to now 11.6 million euros. With the seed capital from the seed round, Cylib plans to set up a pilot factory in Aachen.

With the increased funding, it should now be possible to industrialise the process, which has been developed over several years, in the pilot factory in Aachen together with partners from different industries. The eight million euros come from World Fund, Europe’s leading climate tech investor, and 10x Founders, among others. Existing investors VSquared Ventures and Speedinvest as well as business angels Kai Hansen and Karim Jalbout from the first seed financing in 2022 have also participated again.

Cylib does not provide any more detailed information on its self-developed recycling process in the current announcement. So the few details from October 2022 remain: in its “green battery recycling”, Cylib wants to achieve a recycling efficiency of over 90 per cent, using no chemicals and also recycling the CO2 produced in the process. Compared to current hydrometallurgical processes, the Cylib method uses a water-based process to recover lithium and graphite, “which drastically reduces the use of additives and acids”.

Craig Douglas, partner at World Fund, says of the investment in Cylib: “Society is slowly weaning itself off dependence on petroleum-based cars and motor vehicles and the industry is transitioning to electric modes of transport. But, if we don’t find a solution to sustainable battery recycling, we could squander the climate gains that EVs offer. Cylib’s technology is the missing piece of the puzzle and their technology will deliver real climate gains, by enabling the sustainable recycling of batteries and by cutting down on the damaging mining of primary materials.”

Lilian Schwich, CEO and co-founder of Cylib, further explains: “Our process recovers all raw materials, including valuable elements such as lithium, cobalt as well as graphite, which are simply disposed of in other processes.”

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