KPM-Accelerate is proud to announce our support for Cyclic Materials! KPM-Accelerate is providing assistance through our Start-Up Coaching and Business Development services which connect member companies to the expertise and experiences to quickly tackle new problems. Cyclic Materials is also working with KPM to validate their metallurgical process before beginning the scale-up to pilot testing.
About Cyclic Materials
Cyclic Materials was founded in 2021 with the goal of taking action to reduce the carbon footprint of mining for rare earth elements. Rare earth elements (REEs) are used to create the high-performance permanent magnets needed to meet the demanding requirements for the technology powering our modern lives. These magnets are used in tiny earbuds, efficient EV motors, direct drive wind turbines, hard disk drives, and hundreds of other modern technologies.
As countries across the world work to electrify their economies, REEs will become increasingly important strategic resources. REE recycling will ensure that there is sufficient domestic supply generated in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Cyclic Materials’ unique metallurgical process will produce rare earth oxides which are needed in existing supply chains. These critical materials are used in manufacturing permanent magnets, chemical catalysts, as coatings and additives, and a number of other important applications. Developing a new domestic supply of rare earth oxides will help the world diversify the sources of these materials, reducing the volatility of prices and the risk of interruptions to production.
Cyclic Materials was founded in 2021 by Ahmad Ghahreman and Patrick Nee. Ahmad Ghahreman is a serial entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering who has over 15 years of experience developing cleantech technologies and has worked with the Queen’s University Department of Mining.
Patrick Nee earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and has an MS in Mechanical Engineering. Patrick spends most of his time helping to operate fast moving science, engineering, and tech companies and is working to develop Cyclic Materials’ strategic partnerships around feedstocks and offtake agreements for their recycled materials. Cyclic Materials’ current team is 8 people strong but is expected to grow rapidly as their technology readiness level (TRL) progresses.
A Look to the Future
After raising a successful Seed round in 2021, Cyclic Materials is planning to raise a Series A in the fall of 2022 into winter of 2023 as pilot scale testing is completed. After demo scale testing, the technology will move to commercial scale, first in North America and then globally. Cyclic Materials expects to be expanding their current team of 8 employees to around 35 after their series A.
By 2030, Ahmad Ghahreman says he wants to see Cyclic Materials produce enough recycled REE material to replace 3 mines-worth of operations, amounting to almost 10% of the existing market. Recycling REEs produces only a tenth of the carbon emissions and requires only a tenth of the capital costs of a typical rare earth mine. Scaling Cyclic Materials’ technology will substantially reduce the carbon emissions of the supply chain for these critical materials.
As demand for REE rises over the coming decades due to electrification efforts, there will be rising pressure on mining companies to open new greenfield mines and increase supply. Recycling will not fully replace mining, but it can help reduce the land use and emissions impacts of the materials which are used to build our future economies.
We look forward to seeing Cyclic Materials move towards achieving their goals of commercialization and reducing the carbon footprint of the mining industry.