Swedish startup Adsorbi has secured €360k in seed funding from Metsä Spring, Chalmers Ventures, and Jovitech Invest for its cellulose-based air purification material that can be used in air filters and odour removal products. The funds will be used to continue studying product application possibilities and ramp up sales in odour removal and art conservation, while concentrating on product development and field testing with air filter companies. Adsorbi is a spinout from Chalmers University of Technology based in Gothenburg.
Indoor air quality is a much larger issue than currently understood. According to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution killed more than 3 million people in 2020. Many ailments, such as asthma, heart disease, and lung cancers, can be caused by bad air quality. As people in industrialised nations spend up to 80-90% of their time indoors, maintaining air quality is crucial to keeping people’s health intact. In addition, many businesses rely on top indoor air quality. For example, museums and art galleries protect artefacts from air pollutants and also need to remove harmful particles that the artwork emits into the air.
Founded by a team consisting of university researchers and seasoned business developers in 2022, Adsorbi’s material is made from a renewable resource, wood, and has a low environmental impact and long product lifetime. The material is excellent at capturing and storing air pollutants that can cause problems in respiratory systems.
“We want to thank Chalmers Ventures for their continued support of our mission, as well as warmly welcome new investors Metsä Spring and Jovitech Invest. Now we have a dream team of investors who understand deep tech, material startups, as well as novel usage cases for cellulose. Our patented material can be used wherever air pollutants are a problem – in air filters, products that remove bad odours, and in museums to protect works of art. This means we can tackle several significant markets with one unique material,” says co-founder and CEO of Adsorbi, Hanna Johansson.
The current industry standard for air purification is activated carbon, which has many downsides – its production from coal or coconut shells has a big negative impact on the environment, it has a short life cycle, is hardly customisable, and performs poorly in removing health hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As governments are rolling out stricter regulations on air quality, businesses are in a race to find new solutions.
Adsorbi’s material answers this need, as it is flexible, has a longer lifetime, and is more energy efficient. Unlike activated carbon, it doesn’t release any VOCs back into the air. The material is bio-based, its original raw material is sustainably harvested from the Nordic forests, and it has a wide range of applications. A significant market where it can remove activated carbon is the odour removal industry for shoes, bags, and cars – making these products more hygienic and prolonging the products’ lifecycle.
Adsorbi marks Metsä Spring’s first Swedish startup investment, and will be an addition to its wood-based innovation portfolio, already consisting of four other external investments and two internal development projects. Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring is actively looking to invest in the best possible innovations to replace fossil-based materials and chemicals in everyday products.
“We are very excited to invest in Adsorbi, which has a diverse and solid research background and business-minded founding team. It is also working on a product made out of pulp, which makes Adsorbi of particular interest to Metsä Group. With Adsorbi in our portfolio, we are yet another step closer to removing fossil-based materials from everyday products,” says Niklas von Weymarn, CEO of Metsä Spring.