Cyclic Materials announces ‘successful results’ from Kingston pilot plant

Cyclic Materials has an office in downtown Kingston and a pilot plant on Progress Avenue. Photo by Emily Elliott/Kingstonist.

Advanced metals recycling company Cyclic Materials has announced successful results from its Kingston pilot plant, where its proprietary Mag-Xtract technology isolates magnets from recycled end-of-life products.

According to a release from Cyclic Materials, dated Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, the design capacity of the plant is 1,000 kg/hour (8,000 tonnes per year), and initial runs have processed several tonnes of magnet feedstock per day.

“The launch of our pilot plant is a major step forward for developing a domestic, circular supply chain for critical materials at the scale needed to support the clean energy transition and technological innovation,” said Ahmad Ghahreman, co-founder and CEO of Cyclic Materials. “Our magnet-agnostic recycling technology produces one of the cleanest and highest quality mixed rare earth oxide products available on the global market—an environmentally sustainable, first-of-its-kind solution to the limited international supply of critical magnet materials.”

In December 2022, Cyclic Materials partnered with Polestar, a Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer, to create closed-loop recycling pathways for rare earth elements (REEs). As reported at that time, the company has a pilot plant on Progress Avenue, where they reclaim REE from end-of-life equipment. According to the company at the time, by 2026, they expect to produce 600 tonnes of rare earth oxide per year.

Also in 2022, Cyclic Materials completed an initial proof-of-concept of Mag-Xtract, processing 4,000 kg of magnet-containing products—including copper, aluminum and steel— from end-of-life products, according to the release. The company said that these materials are critical to the development of electric vehicles, wind turbines, smartphones and other technologies.

In addition to developing Mag-Xtract Cyclic Materials is scaling its proprietary hydrometallurgy technology to convert magnet feedstock and manufacturing waste into mixed rare earth oxide, cobalt-nickel hydroxide, and other by-products, according to the release. Last fall, Cyclic Materials piloted its hydrometallurgy technology at a capacity of 10 tonnes/year. It is currently developing the first commercial demonstration plant for this technology in Kingston, with a target launch date in Q2 2024.

Earlier this year, Cyclic Materials was nominated for the 2023 Kingston Business Awards, and Rishabh Chopra, who works in Operations for the company, was recognized at the inaugural Kingston Young Professionals 40 Under 40 Awards.

Cyclic Materials shared that its investors include BMW iVentures, Energy Impact Partners, Planetary Capital, Fifth Wall and Bio-industrial Innovation Canada, totalling over $30 million (USD) in funding raised to develop its advanced metals recycling processes. The company has also received a $3.6 million (CND) grant from Sustainable Technology Development Canada.

Reached for comment, Ghahreman told Kingstonist the company wants to share its achievements thus far with the community, and hinted at things to come.

“The next step will be to build a commercial building and plant in the future,” he said, noting that an announcement will come in the near future.

With files from Dylan Chenier.

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