Climentum Capital invests in Continuum Composites Recycling, a JEC Composites Startup Booster 2022 winner

Continuum has developed advanced mechanical transformation technology that can sustainably convert end-of-life composite materials and manufacturing waste — such as end-of-life wind turbine blades — into valuable end products.

Climentum Capital invests in Continuum Composites Recycling, a JEC Composites Startup Booster 2022 winner

3 minutes, 10 secondes

If you’ve ever seen a wind turbine, you may have noticed that the size of the blades is much larger than the eye expects from a distance. These machines are massive, and their manufacturing requires immense resource extraction, akin to EVs or solar panels. What happens to these blades at the end of their useful life? Currently, nothing — they are landfilled or burned.

Wind turbine blades are made of fiberglass, which is a high-value material that’s made for the most extreme conditions. There is no current industrial-scale solution to recycle and reuse it sustainably and economically.

Wind as a source of electricity is the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy, and as more and more wind turbines are built and designed to run for up to 25 years, it means that in excess of 43M tons of these blades will need to be recycled by 2050 (over 10M of that will be in the EU). However, while wind turbine blades are the most visible problem, they only account for 10% of the total composites waste market, which also includes other sectors such as automotive, marine, and aerospace and which Continuum is also addressing. Their win at the JEC Composites Startup Booster 2022 earlier this year is proof of the wider industry challenge.

Climentum Capital realized that their dry, mechanical solution is fully ready to be built out on an industrial scale and has significant advantages over the competition. Critically, it lets them reclaim the individual raw materials from composites, something nobody else can currently do. Their method is highly energy-efficient and is carried out in a factory that produces zero emissions. Other solutions, especially chemical ones, require a lot of energy and lead to low-value chemicals as end products. The end recycled product itself is a high-performance panel made from 92% recycled material that can be used in construction, for example as facades, doors, water-exposed interior walls like bathrooms, or even as sound barriers along motorways.

Continuum’s recycling process

This all translates into a huge potential environmental impact: The company’s goal is to eliminate all industrial composite waste by 2050, thereby reducing emissions by at least 100M tons of CO2 per year.

Thus, Continuum could be the first to market with a scalable, zero-emissions approach to industrial waste recycling. The construction of their first 36,000- ton capacity plant at the Port of Esbjerg, Denmark will start in 2023, and they will be ready to accept feedstock in late 2023.

The company is already in the process of raising a high eight-figure round of equity and debt for their Esbjerg factory. They plan a network of at least 6 factories across Europe, including a second factory in the UK currently under planning.

Aerial view of the Esbjer’s industrial site

The founders hail from Germany, the UK, Denmark, and France, and all share a deep industry background that’s complemented with diverse functional expertise and skills. Climentum Capital invests in Continuum composites recycling, a JEC Composites Startup Booster 2022 winners is thrilled to join Nicolas Derrien, Co-Founder & CEO at Continuum Group ApS, Jesper K, Group-COO & Co-Founder at Continuum Group ApS, Martin Dronfield, Director at Opergy Ltd, Chairman of the East of England Energy Group and Chief Commercial Officer and the rest of the team on their mission to eliminate industrial composite waste.

They also team up with David Rowan and the VOYAGERS Climate-Tech Fund, Telmo Valido and Ricardo Caupers on this deal.

About Continuum Composites Recycling:
Continuum is an organization registered in Copenhagen, Denmark with subsidiaries in Esbjerg and the UK. Its proven and patented mechanical technology and state of art factory design allow end-of-life composites to be fully recycled into high-value, built-environment products that are infinitely recyclable and it does this at an industrial scale, sustainably and economically.

About Climentum Capital:
Climentum Capital is a Venture Capital firm based in Copenhagen, Berlin, and Stockholm. We invest in European startups that can cut down megatons of CO2 emissions in a concrete and measurable way. The fund targets late Seed and Series A investments into the six sectors that demonstrate the largest CO2 reduction potential: Industry & Manufacturing, NextGen Renewables, Food & Agriculture, Buildings & Architecture, Transportation & Mobility, and Waste & Materials. As one of the first Venture Capital funds with a double carry structure (with both financial and impact targets), Climentum is dedicated from day one to evaluating and only investing in companies that hold true carbon reduction potential.

This article has been written by Dörte Hirschberg, with editorial changes made by JEC Group.

More information www.climentum.com