Cyclize receives around €5 million seed for revolutionary plastic recycling

Photo: Cyclize foun­ding team from left: Domi­nik Nova­ko­vic, Jan Stein, Maike Lambarth (CEO), Stephan Renn­in­ger (Image: Cyclize)
22. Febru­ary 2024

Stutt­gart — The Clima­te­Tech start-up Cyclize from Stutt­gart is leading the way with €4.75 million in seed capi­tal to initiate a revo­lu­tion in the chemi­cal indus­try. The aim: to replace fossil resour­ces through the inno­va­tive recy­cling of carbon from plas­tic waste and CO2. The finan­cing round is being led by UVC Part­ners. The capi­tal increase is comple­men­ted by High-Tech Grün­der­fonds (HTGF), Aurum Impact, Unter­neh­mer­TUM Funding for Inno­va­tors and busi­ness angels, inclu­ding Dr. Klaus Schä­fer, former CTO of Cove­s­tro, who will also be part of the Advi­sory Board of Cyclize.

Repla­cing fossil resources

The chemi­cal indus­try, once firmly ancho­red in the use of fossil resour­ces, must change in order to achieve the neces­sary climate targets. The carbon atoms contai­ned in natu­ral gas and coal are used to produce synthe­sis gas — a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydro­gen. This gas mixture is a basic buil­ding block of the chemi­cal indus­try and the start­ing point for products that surround us ever­y­where, such as plas­tics, foams, adhe­si­ves, paints and many more. Their produc­tion and inci­ne­ra­tion at the end of their life account for 15 percent of global indus­trial CO2 emis­si­ons. Other proces­ses, such as elec­tro­ly­sis or the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS), cannot meet the growing demand for CO2-neutral synthe­sis gas.

Cyclize offers a solu­tion here: a highly inno­va­tive, plasma-based process in which mixed plas­tic waste of all kinds is recy­cled to produce synthe­sis gas that easily compe­tes econo­mic­ally with fossil synthe­sis gas. Cyclize is thus setting pionee­ring stan­dards in the unri­val­led repla­ce­ment of fossil resources.

“With our process, we are sending an important signal for climate-neutral chemis­try. Our paten­ted Cyclize process enables chemi­cal compa­nies to remain compe­ti­tive despite rising energy prices in Europe. Cyclize plasma is not only the future of the chemi­cal indus­try — it is an inno­va­tor for the circu­lar economy: “Plas­tic waste beco­mes a real raw mate­rial with mone­tary value,” says Maike Lambarth, co-foun­­der and CEO of Cyclize.

Setting out for new markets, the net zero revolution

The move towards net-zero produc­tion is opening up new markets in Europe and Cyclize is paving the way for the chemi­cal indus­try through a low-thres­­hold trans­for­ma­tion. With the produc­tion of synthe­sis gas, the company is merely chan­ging the first step in a long value chain and substi­tu­ting the fossil carbon source. Thanks to the reten­tion of the follo­wing process steps, exis­ting assets can conti­nue to be used and produc­tion costs can be kept low.

With their solu­tion, they not only serve nume­rous chemi­cal segments that previously relied on fossil hydro­gen and synthe­sis gas, but also solve the global problem of recy­cling previously non-recy­clable plas­tic waste. Cyclize is an inno­va­tion pioneer that reso­lut­ely tack­les the global chal­lenges of our time.

Further deve­lo­p­ment of plasma technology 

Cyclize has alre­ady attrac­ted a great deal of inte­rest from indus­try and poli­tics. Since May 2022, the spin-off of the Univer­sity of Stutt­gart has been funded by the EXIST rese­arch trans­fer program of the Fede­ral Minis­try of Econo­mics and Climate Protec­tion (BMWK). With the newly raised capi­tal, the company is taking its realiza­tion to the next level. In the next step, Cyclize will dedi­cate itself to scaling up the tech­no­logy and apply­ing it on an indus­trial scale with an expan­ded team. Test series with pilot custo­mers who require synthe­sis gas or want to recy­cle complex waste streams are also alre­ady being plan­ned. The young company is thus actively driving tech­no­lo­gi­cal deve­lo­p­ment towards commer­cia­liza­tion. The next goal is to set up and operate the first waste-to-syngas plant of its kind in a chemi­cal park in order to demons­trate its appli­ca­bi­lity in an indus­trial envi­ron­ment through pilot opera­tion.About Cyclize

As a spin-off from the Univer­sity of Stutt­gart, Cyclize has deve­lo­ped a defos­si­liza­tion tech­no­logy for the chemi­cal indus­try in which mixed plas­tic waste and CO2 are used as a start­ing mate­rial to produce synthe­sis gas (a gas mixture of carbon monoxide and hydro­gen). This synthe­sis gas serves as a basic buil­ding block for higher-value chemi­cals and is used to produce plas­tics, metha­nol, hydro­gen and e‑fuels. To date, synthe­sis gas has still been produ­ced through the linear use of fossil resour­ces such as natu­ral gas. The inno­va­tive plasma-based process makes it possi­ble to replace fossil resour­ces with waste mate­ri­als, enable a circu­lar economy for carbon and avoid hundreds of mega­tons of CO2 annu­ally by 2050.

About UVC Partners

UVC Part­ners is a leading early stage venture capi­tal firm based in Munich and Berlin that invests in Euro­pean B2B tech start-ups from pre-seed to Series A stage. With appro­xi­m­ately 400 million euros in assets under manage­ment, UVC Part­ners typi­cally invests between 500,000 and 10 million euros as an initial ticket and up to 30 million euros per company. The port­fo­lio includes leading compa­nies in the fields of deep tech, climate tech, hard­ware, soft­ware and mobi­lity. As an inde­pen­dent part­ner of Unter­neh­mer­TUM, Europe’s largest inno­va­tion and startup center, UVC Part­ners has access to proprie­tary deal flow, an indus­trial network of more than 1,000 compa­nies and access to talent from Europe’s leading tech­ni­cal univer­sity. Its invest­ments include Flix, Vimcar, planqc, Tanso, Isar Aero­space, TWAICE, Deep­Drive, STABL and many more. They all bene­fit from the team’s exten­sive invest­ment and exit expe­ri­ence, its ability to build sustainable indus­try leaders and its passion for deve­lo­ping the game chan­gers of tomor­row.

About Aurum Impact

The impact inves­tor Aurum Impact supports start-ups and funds that are dedi­ca­ted to tack­ling major ecolo­gi­cal and social chal­lenges. As part of the Gold­beck Family Office, Aurum Impact acts as a relia­ble part­ner with a long-term invest­ment focus along the themes of circu­lar economy and mate­ri­als, climate and energy, ecosys­tems as well as equal oppor­tu­ni­ties and social stabi­lity. Initial invest­ments in start-ups focus on the early phase from pre-seed to Series A. The port­fo­lio includes compa­nies such as UNDO, Clean­Hub and Volt­fang as well as the impact funds Planet A Ventures, Revent and Syste­miq Capi­tal. Further infor­ma­tion:


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