Lithium Battery Recycling Firm Concludes Oversubscribed US$3.7 Million Funding Round

NEU Battery Materials, a Singapore-based lithium-ion battery recycling startup, has raised a total of US$3.7 million in an oversubscribed Seed Funding Round led by SGInnovate, a Singapore government-backed Deep Tech investor and ecosystem builder. The round was also joined by ComfortDelGro Ventures, Shift4Good, Paragon Ventures I, and other angel investors.

The Singapore-based Deep Tech startup is pioneering an electrochemical redox targeting technology for the sustainable recycling of battery materials.

The funds raised in the round will accelerate the deployment of NEU Battery Materials’ automated recycling line, which will lower operational manpower requirements.

The startup will also focus on the further development of partnerships in key global markets to support their battery requirements and forge new direct partnerships with electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturers to further the adoption of its technology within the transport and mobility sector.

In broadening its capabilities, NEU Battery Materials has also initiated research into recycling of other lithium battery chemistries such as the prominent cobalt-based batteries used in smart devices and EVs.

A US$400 Billion Opportunity

Their patented process requires electricity as its only consumable and utilises regenerative chemicals to avoid toxic waste and harsh acids. Being less polluting than more commonplace methods such as hydrometallurgy and pyrometallurgy, it paves the way for the wider adoption of a more sustainable way to recycle all forms of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

This technique produces battery-grade lithium which can be supplied back to battery manufacturers and is the world’s first redox-targeting recycling method capable of processing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

LFP batteries alone have accounted for almost 30% of all new battery capacity for light-duty vehicles in 2022, lagging only behind lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC). The burgeoning battery chemistry’s growing EV market share has been driven by demand from Chinese EV OEMs, which have been responsible for over 95% of global demand.

Overall industry projections across all sectors see the Li-ion battery value chain providing revenue opportunities of over US$400 billion by 2030, roughly five times more than in 2022. However, waste generated by the industry is also expected to grow. It is estimated that by 2030, over 11 million tonnes of used batteries will become part of global waste systems.

“LFP battery recycling, when done in a sustainable manner, will be the foundation of a viable circular economy for batteries – offering new, more stable supply and revenue streams while reducing the negative, and often unequal negative impacts of mining,” said Tong Hsien-Hui, Executive Director – Investments, SGInnovate. “Emerging technologies that offer scalable, impactful solutions to sustainability goals is one of SGInnovate’s key focus areas, and we are pleased to support NEU Battery Materials in their wider decarbonisation mission.”