A French company founded in 2012 by Guillaume de Souza and headed by Patrick Peters, Adionics is positioned as a virtuous player in the extraction of lithium, a highly coveted mineral worldwide. Its technology for the selective extraction of salts from water by the liquid-liquid route, based on a range of formulations called “Flionex®” that can be regenerated by simply raising the temperature, is a unique technology that has been patented worldwide. After twelve years of research, the company offers extraction that is economical, and highly efficient, while having a very low environmental impact: by simplifying the production chain, not adding chemicals in the extraction phase, greatly reducing water consumption and by lowering energy requirements. Today, Adionics has 20 high-level employees. Two industrial pilot schemes have already enabled the technology to be implemented in real world conditions.
“The Adionics solution allows for a lithium production cycle of less than 24 hours instead of 12-18 months using natural solar evaporation, a 400 times smaller footprint, and is a robust solution in its implementation through the use of well-known industrial equipment. In addition to the environmental aspect, which is crucial, Adionics paves the way for the economical production of lithium in all commercial forms, to the highest quality standards. We have an actual groundbreaking solution in a booming market, whilst at the same time being part of the movement to decarbonise the industry,” says Patrick Peters, CEO of Adionics.
After an initial fund-raising of EUR 4 million in 2017, this second round of EUR 7 million, in which the PSIM Fund managed by Bpifrance, Supernova Invest and Celeste Management, as well as its historical shareholders, notably Ovive, and Weigelia, are participating, will allow Adionics to accelerate its development in order to industrialise its solutions, launch its marketing, and pursue its R&D work.
“We are very pleased to support Adionics at this important stage in its industrial and commercial development.” said Emmanuel Audouard, Director of the Transverse Venture Capital Division at Bpifrance. “Winner of stages 1 and 2 of the Global Innovation Contest and qualified for phase 3, Adionics has proven the excellence of its novel technology, which meets a dual strategic challenge: that of responsible development and lower-cost production of a strategic resource for energy transition.”
Marine Glon, Investment Director at Supernova Invest comments: “Adionics’ liquid-liquid exchange extraction technology is unique in the world for its economic and environmental performance and the strong traction seen with customers confirms this. Supernova has supported Adionics since 2018 and today reaffirms its confidence by participating in this round, which is fully in line with the very deep-tech and industrial DNA of our fund.”
“The accelerated transition to electric power in major sectors is forcing us to rethink the entire value chain, starting with the extraction of essential minerals, in order to achieve greater efficiency and sustainability. In this context, Adionics brings a unique solution enabling a decisive improvement of environmental, economic and productivity efficiencies. We are excited to help bring these solutions to the market.” explains Dimitri Boulanger, director of Celeste Management.
The Booming Lithium Market
Lithium has been prompter into being the new white gold by the unprecedented development of batteries for electric vehicles, smartphones and computers. All this excitement about the transportation of the future where everyone will drive “green” is based on Li-ion batteries for which lithium is one of the essential components. When it comes to extracting lithium from natural brine, solar evaporation ponds are used today with long maturing times, from 12 to 18 months, and high consumption of water and chemical products for a lithium extraction performance limited to 30 - 50% and a quality that scarcely reaches the standards of the electric battery market. By 2030, European demand for lithium will be the equivalent of global production in 2019 and global demand for lithium will have increased at least fivefold.
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