Devon-based clean technology group secures investment of up to £10m – Business Live

Altilium opened its EV Battery Technology Centre in Tavistock last year
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A Devon-based clean technology group has announced an investment in its EV recycling business.
The investment of £2m ($2.6m) from SQM Lithium Ventures is part of Tavistock-based Altilium's series A funding round. This is the second investment close for SQM, the world's second largest producer of lithium.
The investment will help to build a sustainable local supply chain for critical battery materials here in the South West, and reduce the UK’s reliance on imported lithium from China. It hopes to accelerate the commercialisation of Altilium’s proprietary battery recycling technology, which enables the recovery of lithium and other critical minerals from end-of- life EV batteries, in a quality and format ready for direct reuse in the production of new batteries.
Altilium is currently the only company in the UK producing battery-ready cathode active materials (CAM) from spent EV batteries, at its Battery Recycling Technology Centre in Devon. SQM’s investment will support the company's scale-up and the roll-out of Altilium's first commercial plant in the UK, as well as the retrofit of its SX-EW hydrometallurgical plant in Eastern Europe to recycle battery waste from over 24,000 electric vehicles in 2024.
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Altilium's chief operations officer, Dr Christian Marston, said: “We are delighted to have SQM as our partner as we embark on this next phase of growth to produce low carbon and sustainable lithium from recycling old EV batteries, returning valuable critical materials for direct reuse in an EV supply chain. Together with SQM, we will build a circular economy and close the loop in battery manufacturing.”
Altilium chief executive, Kamran Mahdavi, added: “This investment will allow us to accelerate our efforts to develop a closed loop lithium-ion battery supply chain and validates our vision that the lithium and critical minerals needed for EV batteries will come from recycling existing waste streams, decarbonising the automotive supply chain for a sustainable transport future.”
Carlos Díaz, executive vice president of SQM’s Lithium Business, commented: “The investment in Altilium allows SQM to become involved in the creation of a new industry: the recuperation of critical metals like lithium, nickel and cobalt from recycled batteries. This will allow us to add value to a new battery supply chain while maintaining efficient levels of resource consumption, lower carbon footprint, and minimum water use. Our top priorities right now are attracting the best technical talent to SQM and partnering with the most innovative, high- impact start-ups in our industry.”
To date, Altilium has secured over £5m in backing from UK government innovation awards, including grants from the Faraday Institutions Battery Challenge and the Automotive Transformation Fund, and is collaborating with leading academic partners, including Imperial College London, to develop green processing technologies to recover lithium and other battery metals from end-of-life batteries. In 2022, the company completed its seed funding, including an oversubscribed crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs.
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