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Tees Valley Mayor Visit

11 Jan 2024

Tees Valley Mayor visits DEScycle

DEScycle is pioneering a first-of-its-kind low cost and low impact metal recycling & production process using novel chemistry. On Wednesday 10 January 2024, Mayor Houchen visited DEScycle, the creators of an innovative, novel technology that has the potential to significantly disrupt the huge, and growing, $1 trillion metals industry, at the Centre of Process Innovation (“CPI”), Sedgefield.

The world is increasingly in need of new sources of critical metals, with a 6x increase needed to achieve current net-zero goals, 10% of global energy consumption is currently being used for metal production, by 2030 global e-waste generation will exceed $82 billion, and currently up to 80% of e-waste is not recycled properly due to lack of economic incentivisation at local scale. All of these issues may not seem connected, but they can all be solved by DEScycle’s exciting and completely new class of chemistry Deep Eutectic Solvents (or “DES”).


DEScycle utilises a completely new class of chemistry, Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES), first developed in the University of Leicester. DES are non-toxic, eco-friendly liquid salts which are highly tuned to separate target metals at low-temperatures in a low-energy process. This translates to low-carbon low-impact metals.


DEScycle’s is first using its technology to cleanly and efficiently recycle metals such as gold and copper from electronic waste, the worlds fastest growing waste stream (US$60bn p.a.). These valuable and critical metals can be re-circulated back to manufacturers to be used to build new technology, with significantly less impact on the environment. DEScycle as repeatedly achieved industry leading performance with its technology with over 99% metal recovery rates. DEScycle is also working with one of the World’s largest mining companies to apply its technology to mine deposits of Energy Transition Metals (nickel, copper, cobalt).


The technology is fully owned and patented by DEScycle and currently being tested and developed in Teesside. The next major milestone for DEScycle is the construction of a large-scale pilot plant in the North East this year. Once piloting is complete, the Company can commence construction of its first commercial recycling plant, with its partner GAP Group, which will be located in Gateshead.


Pioneering new technology, particularly one that is so focussed on one of the country’s, and the worlds, biggest issues, climate change, is something that Teesside is becoming famous for. The area is heavily linked to accelerating the development of businesses within the energy transition space such as carbon capture and storage, and offshore wind. DEScycle works with key partners in the region such as CPI, who play a crucial role in enabling the North East to meet sustainability targets, helping companies such as DEScycle to develop green solutions to some of the biggest challenges society faces. CPI officially launched their Novel Food Innovation Centre last year in Wilton, Redcar. The project looks to put the North East at the epicentre of green revolution in the food industry, looking at sustainable ways to produce food as well as innovative, environmentally friendly packaging solutions.


Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor said of the visit: 

“With the world producing more and more electronic materials there’s a growing market for the recycling and recovery of critical metals through pioneering new technology, and it’s fantastic to see another world-first project coming to our region to make it happen. The work that DEScycle are doing to progress the potential for sustainable large-scale metals recovery and recycling is great to see and underlines our region’s position as the best place to establish innovative projects that will lead the world.”


Leo Howden, DEScycle Managing Director commented:

“Mayor Houchen has become renowned for championing small businesses with innovative and disruptive technology. We were delighted to welcome him to CPI’s premises near Darlington, and walk him through our first of its kind process for recycling metals from e-waste. We look forward to working in the North-East, and in particular to the construction of our large-scale pilot plant as well as our first commercial recycling plant with our 50/50 JV partner GAP Group. Our team, alongside CPI, would like to thank the Mayor for his time, and are excited to further expand the areas energy transition credentials as well as provide job opportunities for the construction phase of our plants and looking ahead to the operating phase and beyond.”

Descycle Announcment - Tees Valley Mayor Visit
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