Startup Allotrope Raises $6.7 Million to Make Batteries from Trees
Battery materials developer Allotrope Energy has raised $6.7 million through an investment from Suzano Ventures, aimed at progressing the company’s technology to produce high-rate battery materials from biomaterials such as wood.
Suzano Ventures is a global venture capital initiative launched last year by pulp and paper producer Suzano to invest in early stage companies in areas including new applications of eucalyptus biomass, sustainable packaging, forestry tech and carbon. The announcement marks the fund’s first investment.
Founded in 2016, UK-based Allotrope has developed technology enabling major improvements in the capability of high-rate carbon anodes for energy storage applications allowing for significantly faster charge times, similar to fueling an internal combustion engine vehicle, while reducing safety hazards associated with other lithium-ion technologies. The battery materials for Allotrope’s technology can be made from carbon extracted from biomaterials, and the companies indicated that carbon will be derived from biomaterials produced as co-product in Suzano’s pulp manufacturing process. The technology can also avoid the use of materials such as cobalt, nickel and rare earth metals, which can face challenges such as supply chain shortages and increasing cost.
Paula Puzzi, Manager of Suzano Ventures, said:
“At Suzano Ventures, our focus is on finding deep tech startups that can build a circular and regenerative economy through the innovative production and use of biomaterials. We are excited that our first investment is into a company can harness a co-product from our own pulp production process as a key raw material, to help accelerate the global transition to zero emission mobility.”
The companies also said that Allotrope and Suzano will also enter into a partnership agreement, with Suzano’s teams in Brazil and Canada supporting innovation and commercialization of Allotrope’s technology, and helping to develop global supply chains and markets for the batteries.
Allotrope Energy CEO Dr Peter Wilson, said:
“Working with Suzano we get access to a critical raw material that is sustainably produced, alongside the commercial and technical expertise and global reach from working with a major multinational business. It comes at a time when we see an increasing global interest in exploring new battery technologies which offer broad appeal across a range of industries.”