scorecardRecycling startup Metastable Materials secures seed funding from Sequoia India's Surge & others
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Recycling startup Metastable Materials secures seed funding from Sequoia India's Surge & others

Recycling startup Metastable Materials secures seed funding from Sequoia India's Surge & others
Business2 min read
  • The startup is leading the way in developing a chemical-free process to recycle lithium-ion batteries.
  • The technology eliminates the need for chemicals and reduces costs when compared to the traditional method.
  • Its Bengaluru facility can recycle 6% of India's demand for recycling lithium-ion batteries.
Metastable Materials, a startup that specializes in recycling lithium-ion batteries using advanced technology, has secured seed funding. The funding round was led by Surge, Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia's rapid scale-up programme.

The funding round also saw participation from deep-tech venture capital firm Speciale Invest, Theia Ventures, and several other individual investors. The details of the funds raised were not disclosed.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries power millions of vehicles worldwide, and the demand for them is growing rapidly. This has led to an industry for Li-ion battery recycling, currently valued at $4.6 billion, which is expected to grow at least five times by 2030.

“Natural resources are finite and our collective vision of a more sustainable future will depend on our ability to first recycle and second, to do so in a way that is cost efficient, scalable and environmentally friendly,” says Shubham Vishvakarma, founder, Metastable.

Many countries, including the EU, plan to introduce regulations to ensure that Li-ion batteries can be recycled or repurposed at the end of their life. Despite the importance of recycling to retrieve and reuse metals from discarded Li-ion batteries, the existing methods face several obstacles. These include difficulties in logistics, such as the transportation of bulky Li-ion batteries to recycling plants, which can be expensive due to the high flammability of Lithium and stringent rules governing its packaging.

The extraction of metals from Li-ion batteries is a complex procedure that involves disassembling, segregating, and retrieving them, necessitating substantial investments in facilities and engineering, which has been difficult for companies to execute profitably on a large scale.

To address these challenges, Metastable introduced the world's first chemical-free Integrated Carbothermal Reduction process for recycling and extracting valuable materials like copper, aluminum, cobalt, nickel, and lithium from the batteries.

This technology significantly reduces capital and operational costs compared to traditional battery recycling methods, while achieving a recovery rate of more than 90%.

"We’re proud to be pioneering a solution that safeguards our future, from providing a sustainable supply of metals for the manufacture of EV batteries to setting new benchmarks for the way metals are recycled, paving the way for new technologies and innovations that will have the power to truly move the needle in fighting climate change,” says Vishvakarma.

Metastable is developing safe storage and packaging solutions for used batteries to transport them from consumers to recycling facilities, as the current methods in India do not meet international standards. Their packaging is designed to reduce the risk of fire during transportation with a heat-resistant structure.

The company is expanding its battery recycling capabilities and has opened a facility in Bengaluru that can process up to 1,500 tonnes of material annually, meeting 6% of India's recycling demand for Li-ion batteries. The startup plans to use the new funding to recruit staff to support manufacturing, industrial engineering, supply chain management, and day-to-day operations.

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