Closed Loop Partners fuels innovation: Invests in start-up transforming scrap aluminium into hydrogen fuel

AL Circle

New York based Closed Loop Partners invested in Found Energy, a company located in Boston that converts aluminium scrap into hydrogen fuel. Found Energy employs a unique process wherein scrap aluminium is treated with a catalyst, activated with water, which yields multiple valuable outputs. These include energy in the form of hydrogen and steam and alumina trihydrate, a raw material crucial for aluminium production.

Closed Loop Partners fuels innovation: Invests in start-up transforming scrap aluminium into hydrogen fuel

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Danielle Joseph, Managing Director and Head of the Closed Loop Ventures Group at Closed Loop Partners expressed in an email to Resource Recycling that the company's strong team drove the investment, robust business model, and the inherent circularity integrated into its operations. This strategic investment aligns with Closed Loop Partners' commitment to supporting environmentally sustainable and circular solutions. According to Joseph, the technique can use aluminium scrap from various sources, such as MRF bales and industrial waste streams. The procedure eliminates impurities that are not readily separable by existing smelting techniques.

“Unlike other energy solutions we have seen, Found Energy considered end-of-life from the very beginning of their development process, by designing a process that uses scrap aluminum and wastewater streams to generate their energy, and a fully recoverable [alumina trihydrate]. We were impressed with the elegance of a solution that uses a ubiquitous metal as a novel hydrogen source, is highly mobile and can be distributed. Distributed assets will continue to be a priority in places where heavy materials would otherwise be transported long distances or where permitting and absence of transmission infrastructure can keep manufacturing operations from scaling up their energy loads as needed,” added Joseph.

Found Energy is expanding its operations, with plans to construct its inaugural 1-megawatt scale unit. The CEO, Peter Godart, who co-founded the company, brings extensive experience from his tenure at MIT and NASA, where he dedicated years to developing the technology before establishing Found Energy in 2022.

The company's strategic partner, Closed Loop, recognises the significance of maximising the utilisation of aluminium in both material and energy contexts. The market for alumina trihydrate, valued at over $150 million, is experiencing growth. This surge is attributed to the substance's versatility as it can serve as an energy source and a crucial input in various industrial manufacturing processes, further underlining its economic importance.

“Our investment in Found Energy supports our vision for a truly waste-free future across sectors, including renewable energy. Reducing waste through circular processes like material recovery and re-manufacturing is critical to advancing the transition to the circular economy, and can help achieve climate mitigation goals and create an ecosystem that is resilient to climate change,” added Joseph.

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