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EIT InnoEnergy invests in Catalyco to support a sustainable production of zinc oxide

EIT InnoEnergy has engaged in another industrial company. The investment in Catalyco will allow to increase the scale of green production of zinc oxide (ZnO) – a raw material irreplaceable in the rubber, ceramics, glass and cosmetics industries.

Recovery of zinc oxide

Solutions developed by Catalyco allow for an effective recovery of zinc oxide from industrial waste streams. The availability of this raw material is crucial for the growth of the European industry. More than half of ZnO produced globally is used in the production of rubber and tires, while many other sectors are also unable to replace zinc oxide in their production processes. The ZnO market is projected to be valued at approximately EUR 5.2 billion annually by 2025, yet the company’s beachhead market of active ZnO is growing twice as fast and is expected to be worth 1.4 billion EUR.


One of Europe’s challenges lies in a high dependence on zinc oxide imports. Annually more than 70,000 tons of this material, accounting for about 38% of Europe’s demand, is imported to the EU, mainly from China, India, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, as well as from the United States and Canada. At the same time, substantial reserves of ZnO remain untapped within the by-products and waste streams of both the chemical and metallurgical industries. It is estimated that alternative sources, including local industrial waste, could provide the EU’s markets with access to up to 18 million tons of ZnO per year.

Reinis Spunde, the CEO of Catalyco

‘At Catalyco, we offer real solutions supporting the growth of the circular economy. Our technologies allow us to recover zinc from waste streams, thanks to which this important raw material is produced in a way which is not only economically effective but also sustainable and environmentally friendly. The solutions we have developed enable a radical reduction of chlorides, nitrates, sulfates ,and chromium contamination in the production processes. Besides ZnO, our technology also allows the recovery of copper, nickel, and cobalt oxides. It is also very important to reduce the dependence of the European industry on external suppliers,’ declares Reinis Spunde, the CEO of Catalyco.

Marcin Wasilewski, the CEO of EIT InnoEnergy CE

‘I am glad to see another highly interesting company from Central Europe join the EIT InnoEnergy portfolio. Catalyco operates in the chemical sector, the transformation of which is crucial to the success of the EU’s strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The technologies offered by Catalyco have been already noticed and appreciated by global players who value not only the potential of sustainable zinc oxide production, but also the possibility of stable and predictable supplies of this raw material from the European markets,’ adds Marcin Wasilewski, the CEO of EIT InnoEnergy in Central Europe.