Adionics, a young innovative company, has just completed a third round of funding for 4 million euros, after two initial rounds with business angels. It welcomes new shareholders, including the venture capital firm Supernova Invest (lead investor), the founder of the Ovive group (water treatment) and the founders of KLB Group (project implementation). Guillaume de Souza, Adionics’ founder, and Daniel Le Gal, the company's historic shareholder, also contributed, along with three other industrial entrepreneurs and a dozen of private investors (business angels).
Thanks to this funding, Adionics will expand the applications of its AquaOmnes technology, dedicated to the selective extraction of salts, to gain even more added value. The process is based on the properties of Flionex, an Adionics’ patented nano-structured liquid, capable of spontaneously trapping certain salts at room temperature, and releasing them after an increase in temperature.
From water softening to lithium production
Its first application, seawater desalination, was successfully tested in 2016 in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), following a tender from Masdar, as part of a project in partnership with Suez group. A second desalination pilot unit is being tested at an EDF site in Martigues (south of France). "The chosen technology for this second unit is extremely robust and can adapt to all the demands of our customers”, says Guillaume de Souza, Adionics’ founder.
Overall potential of AquaOmnes technology goes well beyond desalination. The development of new Flionex formulations, targeting other salts, is paving the way for various industrial applications, such as massive water softening and recovery of high value salts. One of Flionex's formulations targets lithium, the "white gold" of this century, whose demand is exploding because of its use in the manufacture of Li-ion batteries (see framed text).
Adionics has already started collaborations with leading industrials in the fields of water treatment, energy conversion, Oil&gas management or mining. This new fund raising will help finalize the development of pre-industrial and industrial units in the most buoyant markets.
A revolution for lithium production
Patrick Peters, Adionics' CEO
« The AquaOmnes process will revolutionize the production of lithium in salt deserts (salars)
which concentrates a major part of the world's lithium reserves, especially in South America.
Lithium is now recovered after going through a series of evaporation ponds where solar
evaporation and salt precipitation occurs (sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium,
sulfates salts etc.). It takes 9 to 15 months to purify and concentrate lithium. AquaOmnes
technology reduces this delay to less than an hour, doubles lithium recovery rate, and
prevents evaporation of very large quantities of water. It also opens the way for the
valorization of lithium deposits that can’t be valued today such as brines with too high levels
of magnesium or sulfate, some industrial effluents or Lithium rich geothermal and oil&gas
produced waters. »
A breakthrough innovation with multiple applications
François Breniaux, Investment Director at Supernova Invest.
"Adionics technology is a breakthrough innovation in a sector that has never been
industrially successful in performing selective extraction of salts from charged liquids. The
company is addressing many current unmet needs, by significantly reducing the
environmental impact of lithium extraction from salars or by improving the treatment of
industrial effluents that were up to now dumped in wastewater treatment plants. Adionics
relies on advanced technological maturity thanks to feedback from its first two pilot units. Its
potential has convinced the Supernova Invest team as well as many water treatment
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