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MIT spin-out raises US$11.8mn for critical metals recovery

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spin-out SiTration, a materials recovery company serving the mining and metals industries, has raised US$11.8 million in seed capital.

Photo: SiTration.

The financing round was led by venture capital firm 2150 with participation from BHP Ventures, Extantia, and Orion Industrial Ventures. Previous investors Azolla Ventures and MIT-affiliated E14 Fund also participated in the oversubscribed round.

The funding will be used to scale the company’s novel solution for the recovery of critical metals and minerals and to deploy pilot systems with commercial partners.

SiTration's patented porous silicon membrane technology provides chemical-free, energy-efficient extraction and recycling, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as localized pollution from traditional material sourcing. 

Founded as a spinoff from research conducted at MIT, SiTration is working to address the demand for critical materials needed to manufacture technologies that are key to the clean energy transition, including electric motors, wind turbines, and batteries. The company's solution lowers both the cost and the resource intensity of extracting and recycling materials, contributing to the overall push towards a circular economy.

“The magnitude of the challenge presented by the need to bolster the critical materials supply chain is clear,”' said Dr Brendan Smith, CEO and co-founder of SiTration. "There is a major missing link between the clean energy technologies we so desperately need and the sourcing of the materials that are at their core. Our solution can create a cleaner, more equitable, and more profitable critical materials supply chain across multiple industries, all with a single technology."

"The key to our membrane technology lies in the combination of durability and the selective extraction performance that is unparalleled among existing solutions," said Professor Jeffrey Grossman, co-founder of SiTration and professor at MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering. "Additionally, the membrane is produced via a streamlined, scalable, and economic manufacturing process, allowing for its deployment in large-scale industrial applications."

SiTration is extending its membrane platform to metals refining and lithium-ion battery recycling.