Princeton NuEnergy (PNE) a clean- tech innovator specializing in recycling, repurposing, and commercializing lithium-ion battery materials, recently announced the initial closing of its Series A funding round, raising $16 million.
The announcement came from PNE’s headquarters at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown, where it has been one of several incubated businesses currently at the facility.
PNE’s flagship innovation is a low-temperature plasma-assisted separation process (LPAS™), a patented technology that significantly reduces costs, environmental waste, and carbon emissions commonly associated with lithium-ion battery recycling. PNE’s approach enables higher critical material recovery rates and superior material performance compared with traditional recycling methodologies.
“As a business incubator for clean energy and environmental innovation in New Jersey and the U.S., we’re proud of the role we’ve played in PNE’s R&D innovation journey and congratulate PNE on this latest significant funding. The EcoComplex team has diligently provided vital services and support to PNE in its breakthrough in lithium-ion battery direct recycling,” said Serpil Guran, director of the Rutgers EcoComplex.
Established in 2001, the EcoComplex is a multidisciplinary “Clean Energy Innovation Center” that occupies 32,000 square feet of office and wet-lab space. It has served more than 100 companies, to date, through its affiliated programs, garnering multiple awards, including being named “Best Business Incubator in New Jersey” by NJBIZ Magazine Reader Rankings in 2018.
According to PNE’s announcement, the round was led by Wistron Corporation (TPE: 3231), a Fortune Global 500 member and industry leader in electronics recycling services. Additionally, new institutional investors participated in this round, including Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE: HMC), GS Futures, and Traxys North America, joining previous investors Greenland Technologies, Shell Ventures, and WorldQuant Ventures, among others. PNE will use the proceeds for new recycling facility construction and equipment procurement to further increase processing capacity and support company operations.
“As the world navigates the challenges of sustainable energy and responsible technology disposal, PNE remains dedicated to driving innovative solutions that have a positive impact,” stated PNE Founder and CEO, Dr. Chao Yan. “This Series A funding round represents a major step towards realizing our vision of a cleaner, greener future through cutting-edge lithium-ion battery recycling technology. We are grateful for the support from our investors and partners and look forward to building upon the solid foundation we have built to date.”
In addition to the $16 million Series A and previous seed rounds totaling $7 million, PNE has been awarded multiple research grants for battery recycling from the U.S. Department of Energy, most recently for $12 million and $4.375 million. The Series A funding will fortify PNE’s commitments to reducing the nation’s reliance on foreign critical materials, expanding domestic manufacturing capabilities, and enhancing the creation of high-quality clean energy jobs in the U.S.