This latest investment will allow Puraffinity to scale up its operations and transition from being an R&D focussed organisation to being a full commercial entity.
“As an advanced precision materials company, our long-term vision includes diversifying into new market segments and exploring broader applications for our adsorbent technology beyond PFAS-related solutions,” said Henrik Hagemann, Puraffinity’s CEO.
PFAS (Per-and polyfluoroalkylated substances) comprise of approximately 9000 different synthetic compounds that resist grease, oil, water, and heat. For over 60 years PFAS were used in the manufacture of numerous products which led to their widespread release into the environment.
Carbon-fluorine bonds in PFAS make them extremely resistant to natural degradation; they are hard to treat and, in many cases, conventional technologies cannot meet removal demands. Furthermore, PFAS have been connected to severe health effects, such as several types of cancer and compromised immune responses.
Pureaffinity's patented technology allows for the rapid development of high-capacity adsorbent materials, an approach that engineers the surface of raw materials using tailored molecular groups that trap PFAS compounds and removes them from the water.
The adsorbent media – which can be modified to target different types of PFAS - can operate in Brita type cartridge applications, as well as in large steel tanks or vessels for industrial applications.
“We have strong evidence from extensive external testing, including third-party validation, showcasing the superior performance of our adsorbent media, Puratech, compared to existing technologies for the new 2023 PFAS regulations,” said Hagemann. “The combined market signal of tightening government regulations - ECRH in Europe and the EPA in the US - combined with historic lawsuit settlements to legacy PFAS manufacturers really hit home.”
Hagemann continued: “Global regulations are tightening around PFAS levels due to increased awareness of their hazards, which positions our product to show value by being engineered to target and remove PFAS contaminants from water. This strategic focus since 2016, with more than $10m invested to date, positions us as a leading solution provider for this critical issue.”
As well as expanding its workforce, the funding will enable Puraffinity to strengthen its R&D capabilities to develop new products, build out its IP base with a growing patent and trademark portfolio, and invest in manufacturing.
Hagemann said Puraffinity is partnering with select tolling manufacturers in the advanced materials sector to fulfil its manufacturing requirements and market demand for the next two years.
“This strategic approach enables us to plan and establish our manufacturing facility based on commercial adoption,” he said. “The funds from our recent investment round will support this expansion to a network of outsourced manufacturers, ensuring a seamless transition from external service providers to Puraffinity's in-house manufacturing capabilities.”
The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from existing investors Kindred Capital, HG Ventures, Verve Ventures and Acequia Capital. Materials science sector specialist fund Universal Materials Incubator Co (UMI) also joined the round. A further £700k was invested from an Innovate UK Investor Partnership grant.