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Caterpillar invests in Nth Cycle for climate-related objectives

By Stephen Elliott

December 10, 2023

CaterpillarCaterpillar investment, Irving, Texas, has invested in Nth Cycle, Boston, a critical-metals refining company. Nth Cycle’s patented electro-extraction technology replaces conventional and energy-intensive pyrometallurgy, also known as smelting, with a clean and modular refining system named The Oyster, the company says.

Nth Cycle closed $44 million, $37 million in Series B and an additional $7 million in non-dilutive financing, led by VoLo Earth Ventures, a Colorado-based venture firm focused on climate solutions; MassMutual through the MM Catalyst Fund I, which invests in rural-based and Black-led businesses based in Massachusetts; Caterpillar Venture Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar, and Equinor Ventures, the venture capital arm of Equinor, a multinational energy company.

Nth cycle recently received two Department of Energy awards including $3 million from the Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) to drive the innovation required to strengthen America’s competitiveness in a global net-zero economy.

Recently, Nth Cycle announced that it would be the first company in the U.S. to offer a domestic nickel mixed hydroxide product (Ni MHP), helping the country to meet the goals of establishing a domestic supply of critical metals crucial for the growth of electrification infrastructure established by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Nth Cycle’s Ni MHP product can help accelerate a path for electric vehicle automakers to meet domestic supply mandates set by the IRA with the benefits of transparent oversight and compliant material.

“Caterpillar’s collaboration with Nth Cycle supports our commitment to helping our customers achieve their climate-related objectives and establishing a circular value chain,” said Rod Shurman, senior vice president of electrification and energy solutions at Caterpillar. “Wherever possible, we keep resources in the Caterpillar value chain through a circular flow of materials, energy and water. Nth Cycle’s Electro-Extraction refining technology can help get valuable materials back into the supply chain.”

“Refining has long been the obstacle to a broader sustainable and closed-loop metal supply chain in the U.S., and European Union (E.U.), which is why we set out to solve that problem, while offering a complementary solution for recyclers,” said Megan O’Connor, Ph.D, CEO and co-founder of Nth Cycle. “In just three years, we have grown out of the lab and into a commercial facility with new deployments of our modular Oyster units in the near future.

Building critical relationships with our investors, partners and policymakers has been a key part of Nth Cycle’s rapid growth to scale, and that commitment continues with this financing.”