Dealflow | June 10, 2024

MIT-spinoff SiTration snags $11.8 million to recover critical metals from mining waste streams

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

Jeffrey Grossman, a professor in MIT’s materials science and engineering department, and his then-postdoctoral associate Brendan Smith came up with the idea for their silicon membrane technology from research they were conducting on desalination.

The silicon membranes, it turns out, are an efficient way to separate key minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper needed for wind turbines, green batteries and other clean energy technologies from mining waste and other streams.

The now patented technology “can create a cleaner, more equitable, and more profitable critical materials supply chain across multiple industries,” said Smith. The company is starting out with lithium-ion battery recycling and mining, where it sees an opportunity to replace traditional resource-intensive processes.


SiTration’s seed round was led by UK-based climate tech investor 2150, with participation from Azolla Ventures, MIT-affiliated E14 Fund, BPH Ventures and other investors. “The need for breakthrough technology that addresses the staggering shortage of critical metals the world is facing as we transition to a clean, electrified energy system is real,” said 2150’s Jacob Bro.

SiTration secured its first commercial partnership with Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest metals and mining corporations, to recover critical metals from liquid waste streams.