#Greentech: MECAWARE secures €40m to become the leader in battery recycling and the production of strategic metals in France and Europe

LYON, France, Oct. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In order to speed up its industrial and commercial development, MECAWARE has secured €40 million from a pool of investors, the French government, under the auspices of the France 2030 plan, and its banking partners.

This funding will enable the industrialisation of the pilot scheme for the recycling of battery production scrap (Gigafactories Scrap – ScrapCO2MET project), which will be operational in 2025. This tool will produce 50 tonnes of recycled metal per year, in particular, lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese. To prepare for this development, MECAWARE is finalising the installation of its new Technical Centre on the outskirts of Lyon (Vénissieux). This 1,600m2 site includes offices, an R&D laboratory and a factory building.

MECAWARE, the only metal extraction process of its kind in the world    

MECAWARE is currently focusing on the recycling of end-of-life batteries and production scrap from battery-making factories. Its technology is based on ground-breaking innovation in dynamic combinatorial chemistry. It uses the synergy caused from the capture of CO2 and the recycling of critical metals. Subject to four patents, it was recognised in 2020 by the American Chemical Society and the Nature Chemistry journal.

Its application enables the extraction of metals in a closed loop, free from inputs that impact the environment, without producing any effluent and with no special energy requirements. Consequently, its economic and ecological value is particularly appealing: the MECAWARE eco²-efficiency adapts to feedstocks and to evolutions in battery technology.

Arnaud Villers d’Arbouet, Co-Founder and CEO of MECAWARE explains: “MECAWARE is thus deploying a ground-breaking and scalable industrial solution as part of a circular economy approach. It makes it possible to secure supplies of raw materials, enabling the strategic independence of our territories to bolster the energy transition, all in compliance with EU Regulations. Our technological solution addresses the current problems caused by traditional processes.”

€40m to meet MECAWARE’s industrial development challenges

This fundraising operation carried out with a pool of investors was organised by Crédit Mutuel Innovation and the SPI2 fund managed on behalf of the State of France by Bpifrance as part of the France 2030 initiative. It was supported by some of MECAWARE’s long-standing investment partners, who thus consolidated their positions: EIT InnoEnergy, UI Investissement, Kreaxi, BNP Paribas Développement, Crédit Agricole Création. It follows on from the obtainment, at the start of the year, of State subsidies under the France 2030 Plan (ADEME, RRR) awarded to the ScrapCO2MET project in partnership with the companies VERKOR and MTB. This funding should also be supplemented by bank support provided by BNP Paribas, CIC, CERA and Bpifrance.

This fundraising will also enable the development of the operational governance of commercial activities and the structuring of the teams involved (workforces will increase from 40 people at the end of 2023 to 80 in 2024).

For Stéphane Simoncini, Director and head of the Deeptech hub at Crédit Mutuel Innovation: “We are proud to support Arnaud and his team in this new phase of their development. MECAWARE’s mission is to support the decarbonisation of transport in a virtuous manner. They are taking the lead in the strategic segment of recycling electric batteries and their metals and building an impressive ecosystem around themselves in the process.”

Magali Joessel, Director of the SPI Fund, comments: “The development of electrical mobility goes hand in hand with key issues regarding the procurement of raw materials in terms of both sovereignty and the environment. We are convinced that Mecaware’s technology, which seeks to recycle and recover blackmass from end-of-life batteries or production scrap constitutes a valid response to these challenges. The metal extraction process they have created is an innovative solution that fits into the development of the French battery sector. Preparing the industrialisation of Mecaware and supporting its shift in scale chime perfectly with the raison d’être of the SPI Fund.

Focus on the development of ground-breaking innovation to benefit the circular economy and energy transition.

The chemical process used by MECAWARE, the only one of its kind in the world, was created through French public research. It was developed by Professor Julien Leclaire at the Applied Supramolecular Chemistry Laboratory in Lyon (ICBMS: Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INSA Lyon, CPE Lyon and CNRS). After an initial technological development phase conducted by SATT Sud-Est, this technology received significant investment and support from PULSALYS to decrypt and optimise the lab chemistry and define various processes protected by 3 patents, 2 of which are jointly owned with Aix-Marseille Université, Centrale Marseille and the ENSC in Montpellier. The support provided by SATT PULSALYS enabled the creation of the start-up in 2020 after the arrival of Arnaud Villers d’Arbouet as its co-founder and CEO.

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Véronique Bourgeois


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