InteliSpark client Sep-All, LLC has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for their project “Low-heat process for the production of high-value micro- and nano- materials form metallic wastes”.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has stated a need for “innovative approaches (…) that use low/no direct application of heat to transform materials into higher value products.” Sep-All has addressed this need by providing a novel low-heat technology platform allowing for the extraction of metallic elements from waste streams, while adding a value to the materials through their conversion into high-value micro- and nano-materials. Their innovative technology is a platform based on chemo-mechanical stresses and interface metastability at the microscale, to drive a controlled separation of mixed sources into high-value mirco- and nano-materials of purified compounds, such as oxides and acetates, without the need to utilize high temperatures.
With this grant, Sep-All plans to extend its product line into the fabrication of ‘critical materials’, which are seen as materials with high supply risks and high environmental impact during ore processing. The U.S. currently has an interdependency on other countries for the supply of critical materials; for example the U.S. relies on China for greater than 90% of their supply of Neodymium and Indium. Sep-All sees the potential of their novel technological approach and their innovative platform to have the potential to decrease U.S. interdependency on other countries for the supply stream of critical materials.