Chrysalix RoboValley Fund Invests in Technology Firm

Global venture capital fund Chrysalix, headquartered in Canada, has invested in Sortera Alloys, developers of an intelligent sorting system for the upcycling of non-ferrous scrap metal.

As reported, the system enables accurate, high throughput sorting by metal type and alloy composition through a combination of sensor fusion (XRF-x-ray fluorescence, Optical), AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning) image processing and an advanced scrap feeder design. “Chrysalix is making the circularity of metals a major theme of our new fund,” Alfred Lam, Partner at Chrysalix Venture Capital, was quoted. Primary aluminum production would account for one percent of global GHGs (greenhouse gases). Furthermore, to achieve the forecasted global demand and climate change targets, the industry had to deliver significant decarbonization.

“After the successful demonstration of our patented high throughput AI sorting technology under the Doe Arpa-e metals project, there has been a lot of interest from the investment community to implement this technology at commercial scale. We chose to work with Chrysalix because of their track record for long term commitment to global sustainability efforts,” Nalin Kumar, CEO of Sortera, commented. “In addition to the infusion of funding from Chrysalix to develop and demonstrate the first industrial-scale metal recycling facility, their international partners will enable us to expand the impact of our technology at a global scale.”

According to the information, Sortera is a spin-out from the Arpa-e metals program and is led by a team of seasoned innovators in the fields of advanced materials, electronic instrumentation and equipment development. This program challenges teams to find cost-effective and energy-efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle metals. During this R&D program, Sortera partnered with OmniSource, one of North America’s largest processors and distributors of automotive scrap and secondary metals, and plans to deploy a fully integrated 100 million pounds (more than 45,000 tons) per year demonstration system at a facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Furthermore, Eriez Magnetics, based in Erie (Pennsylvania), would build equipment for facilities to provide low cast metal alloys as feedstocks to local industries all over the world.

As emphasized, the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund invests in intelligent systems enabled by AI, IoT (Internet of Things) and sensor technologies to achieve significant improvements in productivity and critical business processes. Investors in the fund include Fortune 500 companies, leading corporates, financial institutions, family offices and universities, as well as a notable cluster of metals producers, such as South32, Severstal and Mitsubishi Corporation.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 2/2021, Page 29, Photo: O. Kürth)