Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the materials sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising rare earth metal startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Rare Earth Metal Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of materials. For this research, we identified 102 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing rare earth metal solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 102 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
MP Materials – Rare Earth Metals Processing
From automotive and defense to clean energy and digital technology, numerous industries require rare earth elements (REE) to efficiently run electronic applications. For example. REE is used as input material for creating new alloys and composites that exhibit specific magnetic characteristics. The use of super magnets is also critical for the functioning of smartphones, windmills, electric vehicles, and missile guidance systems, among others. This drives materials startups to develop comprehensive solutions to identify and process elemental deposits.
The US-based startup MP Materials operates fully integrated rare earth element deposits. The startup’s processes include crushing, milling conditioning, and flotation, to create a rare earth concentrate. With further chemical processing, the startup purifies and separates the concentrate to form individual REE. The startup also employs a zero discharge approach and reprocesses almost all the water used in the processing of the rare earth metals.
XERION Healthcare – Radiotherapy Dose Enhancement
Radiotherapy, traditionally, uses considerably higher doses of radiation to treat cancerous tumors. This radiation also harms the healthy cells surrounding tumors. Advancements in nanotechnology allow medical professionals to treat tumors without causing damage to other surrounding tissues. Startups are working on techniques to integrate REE to enhance the effects of absorbed dose radiation.
British startup XERION Healthcare develops REE-dosed nanoparticles to safely enhance the effects of radiotherapy. With the help of Oxilia Nanoparticles, this solution enables medical professionals to target tumors without causing any damage to the surrounding healthy tissues. Moreover, doctors simply inject the tumors with inert nanoparticles using a simple procedure. The startup’s nanoparticles absorb the ionizing radiation to generate cancer-killing free radicals in hypoxic tumors.
Commonwealth Fusion Systems – Superconductivity For Fusion Energy
Fusion energy is considerably safer than nuclear fission energy as it does not use any radioactive material. Fusion-based facilities combine two hydrogen atoms to generate electricity on-demand and do not produce any greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Permanent magnets that are capable of creating super magnetic fields make fusion possible at high temperatures. Startups use various combinations of REE to create superconducting magnets to stabilize plasma in fusion reactors.
Commonwealth Fusion Systems is a US-based startup designing innovative super magnets for fusion energy systems. Rare earth barium copper oxide (ReBCO), a superconductor stable at high temperatures, enables the startup to contain and stabilize plasma in high magnetic fields. This results in the optimal generation of nuclear energy in fusion-based nuclear energy systems.
FeNix Magnetics – REE-Free Permanent Magnets
The supply of REE across the globe is strained due to regionally concentrated deposits. Conventional compression refrigeration systems produce chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and significant noise. In contrast, magnetic refrigeration eliminates these emissions and issues, without the use of REE. Many emerging companies are also looking for ways to reduce their dependence on rare earth metals for making their products.
The US-based startup FeNix Magnetics utilizes REE-free permanent magnet materials to enable magnetic refrigeration. Alpha double prime ion nitride (ADPIN), a high-performance REE-free magnet, enables the startup to eliminate CFC emissions. The use of non-REE alternatives also provides clients with significant cost benefits across industries, including in electronics, automotive, and manufacturing.
Advanced Electric Machines (AEM) – REE-Free Electric Motors
The electric vehicle (EV) market is gaining traction owing to advancements in both the energy and automotive sectors. Increasingly, EVs require different kinds of REE for multiple components, from batteries and electric motors to smart and connected systems. Automotive companies aim to reduce their dependence on REE, considering the strained supply chains. This drives startups to find novel non-REE solutions for various industrial applications.
British startup Advance Electric Machines designs and produces motors without using any magnets. The startup offers HDSRM, a low-cost motor that is sustainable and operates at high temperatures, on par with magnet-based motors. ReFITT is another motor in the startup’s portfolio that serves as a traction motor in any electric vehicle. AEM’s solutions aim to eliminate the use of REE in electric motors while also making them safer and quieter.
What About The Other 97 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 rare earth metal startups showcased above are promising examples out of 102 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.