French recycling company Recupyl, which uses hydrometallurgy to recycle batteries, displays and other materials, said yesterday that it raised €14.5 million ($18.4 million) in financing (hat tip Green Car Congress). Recupyl joins a long list of recycling companies taking in funding this year, but unlike those startups, Recupyl, founded in 1993, already has more than a few years of experience under its belt.
The fresh cash for Recupyl comes from new investors led by AGF Private Equity, as well as original backer Aloe Private Equity. Recupyl said INPG Enterprise, which provided seed funding for Recupyl, still holds a stake in the company, but did not disclose if INPG Enterprise participated in this latest round. INPG Entreprise is the research, development and investment arm of France’s Grenoble Institute of Technology. Recupyl was started by Grenoble Institute researcher Farouk Tedjar, who serves as CEO of the company.
Earlier this month, Flipswap and Second Rotation both pulled in funding for their recycling programs. California’s Flipswap, which targets cell phone trade-ins and recycling, raised $14 million. Boston-based Second Rotation received $6 million for its much broader gadget buyback program, called Gazelle, covering phones, laptops, MP3 players and more. And in August, Indian e-waste recycler Attero raised $6.3 million in funding, while ReCellular, based in Michigan, pulled in $15 million.
Recupyl said it currently has recycling plants in Singapore, France, Spain and the UK. The company said its hydrometallurgy system recovers metals by leaching them into a solution of acid or alkaline, using selective precipitation, as well as electrolysis.
The recycling technology goes beyond just batteries and displays, with Recupyl saying that it also handles fly ash from waste incineration, industrial effluents, and asbestos. The company said that its process for asbestos converts the material into an inert glass that can be used as a building composite. Recupyl is also looking at the recycling of fuel cells and solar panels.