What is Electro-extraction?

Electro-extraction hybridizes proven traditional unit processing techniques including electrowinning, precipitation, and filtration into a single compact and modular unit.

We found a way to use a porous conductive electrode (carbon nanotubes) to combine filtration and electrowinning, overcoming the inefficiencies in both individual processing techniques.

So what do those terms mean exactly?

Traditionally, electrowinning is the process of passing a controlled current through an anode in an aqueous solution of dissolved metal ions. This current causes specific ions to plate onto the cathode depending on the tuned current – this part of the process is called electroplating. During this step, the metal precipitates onto the cathode as an insoluble solid emerging from an aqueous solution. Once this coating reaches a sufficient level of saturation, the pure metal is collected from the cathode at purity levels that are significantly higher than those at the start of the process.

Our products at Nth Cycle innovate upon this tried and true process and usher in a new generation of efficient electro-extraction technology to address critical mineral supply chain issues in the race to decarbonize.

A new generation of refining technology.

Modular, low-emissions technology installs onsite.

Where it works

Several industries have been using electrowinning and precipitation for centuries, with applications today spanning metal recovery and mining, refining, and wastewater treatment. These industries all need economical and straightforward purification processes for obtaining non-ferrous metals.

Today, these industries get to a state of metal purity by typically relying on some form of pyrometallurgy (high temperature smelting for metals extraction) or hydrometallurgy (cycles and cycles of chemical baths) at the end of their processes. However, pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy are both horrible for the environment, respectively requiring large amounts of energy or highly acidic solvents that go to waste after use.

With Nth Cycle’s technology, we can replace these harmful processes with a much cleaner solution. Our technology is third-party verified, reducing emissions by 92% compared to traditional mining processes and 42% compared to today’s best recycling alternatives, all while processing on-site with its modular design. While today’s industries need to transport their feedstock to large, centralized pyro- or hydro- refining facilities scattered through the globe, our technology can be located at the source, significantly reducing your processing transportation costs.


Expanded refining capabilities

The magic of our technology is that we can accept and select for a range of metals that is much wider than what is conventionally seen in today’s industry. Where traditional pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy plants are designed around receiving specific feedstock metals at very specific purities, our technology can flexibly intake a whole gamut.

Mixed non-ferrous metals

e.g. electric motors, media-separated metals, shredder mixed metal scrap

Copper-bearing material

skimmings, grindings, ashes, irony brass

Nickel of all grades

alloy scrap consisting of nickel/chrome, nickel/copper, nickel/cobalt

Precious metals

e.g. silver, gold, palladium, platinum

Stainless, high-temp, and special metals

e.g. titanium, tungsten, molybdenum and alloy scrap

Others like tin and zinc 

We’re adding new capabilities and feedstocks as fast as customers ask for them