Dealflow | August 31, 2023

Sortera secures $30.5 million to commercialize upcycled aluminum

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, August 31 — Non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and copper are essential for renewable energy and electric vehicles. Sorting and recycling such metals at their end of life can increase supplies and reduce waste.

Sortera Technologies (formerly Sortera Alloys) has raised $30.5 million to sort non-ferrous metal scraps using AI and advanced sensors from domestic feedstocks, which are typically shipped overseas to be hand-sorted and recycled into lower-grade materials. Upcycled metals are sold back to automakers and other manufacturers.

“When you look at non-ferrous metals, the biggest portion of that is aluminum, which is why we’re going after it first,” Sortera’s Michael Siemer told ImpactAlpha. “Copper, brass, stainless – we want to go after those next.”

A facility in Indiana, expected to be operational this year, will let Sortera process and sort up to 220 million pounds of aluminum scrap annually. 

Commercial scale

Employee-owned Sortera will use the Series C financing to reach commercial viability. “This isn’t something we’re promising in five to 10 years,” Siemer says. “Investors are coming in, saying ‘We believe that you can do that and we’re ready to help you build out.’”

Investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Chrysalix, T. Rowe Price, Macquarie GIG Energy Transition Solutions and others.