The magnetic cores Dr. Aminul Mehedi calls “donuts” can be used for charging electric automobiles, wireless consumer electronics and robotics, and if adopted widely could reduce CO2 emissions by 2.65 GT by 2050.
It’s not the first time Mehedi, who came to the US from Bangladesh in 2012 to attend the University of Minnesota, has innovated greentech with magnets. While earning a bachelor’s and Ph.D. in material science and engineering, he cofounded Minnealloy Magnetics after co-developing a soft magnetic material that could be used in power converters, motors and sensors. The company exited in 2017 by licensing the technology to a larger manufacturer.
He then spent about a year working for Tesla before returning to the development and commercialization of novel magnetic alloys by taking a job as a senior product application engineer for Carpenter Technology Corporation in Philadelphia. The move would eventually lead him to Delaware and a new greentech startup, CM Materials, now a 2021 EDGE Grant recipient that is based in the Delaware Innovation Space.
“CM stands for clean magnet,” the CEO and founder told Technical.ly.”We are commercializing new magnetic materials for power systems. It’s a platform technology that goes into different kinds of power systems. Long story short, it’s a platform technology which can be used for many, many applications.”
What makes it green is efficiency and the material’s core value proposition, which can make electromagnetic components up to 50% smaller with an efficiency increase of up to 25%, Mehedi said: “We are providing both together, which doesn’t exist in the commercial space right now.”
CM Materials was founded in 2021 and came to the Delaware Innovation Space through research and cold calling.
“We like it a lot here because of it’s a very good ecosystem, with University of Delaware,” Mehedi said. “Before we got the space, I had already raised close to $400,000. I had the money in the bank, and I needed to start building product. I reached out to their website, then I called and email to all their senior executives through LinkedIn, and one of them reached out to me within an hour. I think Delaware in general gets really excited for new innovative companies that are interested in just being here.”
It’s a vital sector, he says.
“We are going through a serious climate crisis,” Mehedi said. “We can see the heavy snow, there’s so much fire happening in California and all over the world, and my background, as I said, is that I’m an immigrant in this country, and some part of my country where I’m originally from will be seriously impacted from the climate crisis. That motivated me to think about what I can do. I’m one single person, but … maybe 1,000 entrepreneurs start something that can each save gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions around the world in next few decades.”
With the $100,000 EDGE Grant — which is about one eighth of what CM Materials has raised so far from angel investors, per Mehedi — CM will develop two applications that will demonstrate the feasibility of the technology.
The implications go farther than just local.
“The United States has to invest in [green infrastructure] adaptations,” he said. “This space is controlled by Japan, China, Germany. Manufacturing happens in Asia in many cases. State government has to take a leadership role on those kind of ‘unsexy technologies.’ It’s very important for United States, not only from a cell phone or laptop perspective, but from a Defense Weapon System perspective as well.
“So those two things, climate crisis and US technology leadership, really motivated me to do something drastic in this area, because changing our raw material is pretty hard. You are kind of swimming upstream, but I think that pushes us to change.”