tozero opened its first plant in Munich and is fully operational now
Last Update: 11.09.2023
On July 19th 2023 tozero celebrated its first ever tozero Day, inaugurating Europe’s first hydrometallurgical battery recycling pilot plant on the company’s one year anniversary. With industrial scale equipment, tozero is already producing the white gold, lithium, and handling end-of-life batteries from OEMs. tozero's proprietary hydrometallurgical recycling technology enables sustainable recovery of all critical materials such as lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt and manganese. By reintroducing these materials into the local battery supply chain, tozero is closing the battery loop in Europe. With the pilot plant tozero is already capable of meeting the EU’s 2031 mandatory minimum material recovery rate requirements of 80% for Lithium.
“Together with our customers, suppliers and investors, tozero is at the forefront of the electrification revolution in Europe. The newly opened pilot plant is an important milestone in our mission to truly bring lithium-ion battery waste tozero.” - Sarah Fleischer CEO & Co-Founder
“Renewable energy is the answer for the transformation of the energy sector, recycling is one key answer for managing scarcity of resources such as minerals and rare materials. You [tozero] are strengthening the supply of raw materials to the economy and you are helping Germany to play a pioneering role in the circular economy in Europe.” - Stephanie Schuhknecht MdL Die Grünen (Keynote Speech)
“tozero is a startup with a great idea. We all know that we need high amounts of recycling in the battery process in Europe, for example the “Batterieverordnung” is asking everybody who puts batteries into place to use a high recycling quota. With this [pilot plant] tozero really will make a difference.” Dr Frederik Zohm CTO MAN
tozero closed a 3.5 Million Euro Pre-Seed funding round in September 2022 led by Atlantic Labs alongside Possible Ventures and Verve Ventures. tozero is supported by high profile Business Angels including: Jochem Heizmann (Former VW Group Board Member), Jonas Rieke (COO & Co-Founder Personio) and Maximilian Wühr (CEO & Co-Founder FINN)
tozero is a Munich-based startup co-founded by Sarah Fleischer and Dr. Ksenija Milicevic Neumann. The company's mission is to establish Europe's leading lithium-ion battery recycling plant, focused on recovering critical materials such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite in a sustainable way. By reintroducing these materials into the supply chain, tozero aims to support the creation of new batteries while promoting a circular economy.
The production of lithium-ion batteries is expected to rise significantly over the next decade as electric vehicles and other applications become more widespread. However, the recycling rate of these batteries is relatively low, leading to environmental issues and material shortages. tozero seeks to address this challenge by providing a sustainable solution for the management of battery waste.
To achieve their ambitious goals, tozero is investing in advanced technologies and processes that enable efficient and cost-effective recovery of valuable materials from used batteries. These materials can then be sold back into the supply chain for use in new batteries, reducing the need for mining and processing of new materials. This approach not only promotes sustainability, but also helps to secure the supply of critical materials and reduces dependence on foreign sources.
tozero is committed to promoting transparency and traceability throughout their operations. They prioritize responsible sourcing of materials and use state-of-the-art processes to ensure the highest level of environmental and social responsibility. By building Europe's premier lithium-ion battery recycling plant, tozero hopes to set a new standard for sustainable battery waste management and contribute to the shift towards a more circular economy.
About the founders
Sarah Fleischer - Co-founder and CEO of tozero
Sarah is the Co-Founder and CEO of tozero is her third startup. Before founding tozero, she was the former lead of commercial strategy and partnerships at Germany's unicorn, Forto. Prior to that, she was an advisor to the Luxembourg Space Agency, where she launched the EUR 120 million early-stage VC fund Orbital Ventures and established the ESRIC incubator for startups together with the European Space Agency. She holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering, is a fellow of CDTM, and completed her studies at Harvard Business School.
Dr. Ksenija Milicevic Neumann - Co-founder and CTO of tozero
Former Senior Research Advisor & Startup Scout at the IME Institute for Metallurgy and Metal Recycling at RWTH Aachen University, where she worked on multiple projects related to sustainable production and recycling of metals and acquired millions of dollars in R&D grants. Prior to her Post-Doc position at the IME, she was the R&D Manager and Safety Officer at startup Maana Electric, where she created the intellectual property for the production of solar cells on the moon. Ksenija holds PhD from RWTH Aachen University in electrochemistry and has deep technical knowledge and experience in STEM.