Speaking of “Innovation Crossroads,” an alum of Cohort 2 announced some good news recently.
Nth Cycle, the innovative metal refining technology company co-founded by Megan O’Connor, announced that the now Boston-based company had secured independent verification of its low-emissions refining technology, called electro-extraction.
According to the independent study, the company offers refining capabilities that are 92 percent lower in emissions than traditional mining and refining processes and produce 44 percent lower emissions than more modern critical minerals recycling technologies.
“With the passing of the ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ there’s now a growing gap between supply and the extraordinary demand for critical minerals to build lithium ion batteries,” O’Connor said in this news release. “We cannot rely on emissions-intensive refining processes from overseas vendors to meet our demands. This independent validation proves our ability to create a sustainable path to a sustainable planet right here at home.”
Nth Cycle’s first product is a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), which contains nickel and cobalt. Production of MHP through laterite ore refining is growing in popularity as a precursor chemical for battery cathode manufacturers. However, 81 percent of today’s MHP supply is refined in Indonesia, by Chinese companies, through a carbon-intensive hydrometallurgy refining process called HPAL (high pressure acid leaching). This HPAL-based supply of MHP is harmful to the environment and as a foreign supply, is not a compliant supply of critical minerals for domestic battery manufacturing under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.