In September 2023, BioHalo joined BII’s Venture Lab program. The start-up is a spinout from The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) and has developed a technology to make fluoropolymer production more sustainable. We chatted with the founder team to learn more about the company’s vision and mission.
Which problems do you aim to solve?
Traditional fluoropolymer production plays a vital role in many large industries globally, but current production processes harm the environment and create health issues in the population. The main problem is using Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), commonly known as ‘forever chemicals’. These substances are non-degradable and pose a long-term threat to our environment and public health. Furthermore, the production process is energy-intensive and contributes to releasing greenhouse gas emissions as it relies entirely on fossil fuels.
Thus, we need a sustainable alternative to the current production of fluoropolymers. BioHalo has developed an energy-efficient technology that utilizes renewable carbon sources and waste materials as feedstock, minimizing greenhouse gas release. Additionally, our platform technology facilitates the production of bio-based fluorinated polymers with low and adjustable fluorine content, providing multiple options for end-of-life management. These polymers demonstrate performance comparable to PFAS in a range of applications.
What inspired you to embark on an entrepreneurial journey?
BioHalo’s ambition is to address one of the most pressing challenges of our time: achieving a more sustainable society by harnessing the power of biology. Our interest stems from the immense potential that biological solutions hold in transforming our world for the better, and the company strives to leave a healthier, more sustainable planet for our children and future generations.
The passion and dream of embarking on an entrepreneurial journey was sparked by being part of a synthetic biology community where we witnessed the impact that innovative biology projects created. The goal of bringing theories and experiments from the lab bench and turning them into tangible, real-world solutions resonate well with our team.
How do you differentiate yourself from others, and how do you make a difference?
The stand-out feature is our ability to create bio-based fluoropolymers characterized by a low fluorine content while containing similar properties as chemical-based fluoropolymers. Thus, BioHalo’s technology could pave the way for a paradigm shift in the industry, ultimately benefiting planetary and human health.
Which milestones do you need to achieve during the Venture Lab program?
Firstly, we need to establish a robust company framework and then advance the development of our products. Secondly, we focus on scaling up our innovative polymer production process and refining it to produce prototypes in collaboration with our partners. These prototypes must undergo rigorous testing to validate their performance and market potential. If we achieve these milestones, we will be much closer to realizing our vision of revolutionizing the materials science industry with sustainable and high-performance solutions.
How do you benefit from being part of BII’s community?
Being part of BII’s community immensely benefits us by having access to guidance and expertise from dedicated BII anchors and like-minded entrepreneurs. Our interactions with Nordic BioVentures are also instrumental in understanding the biotech ecosystem and how our approach fits in this ecosystem.
Finally, it opens many doors to being part of BII’s programs, which should not be underestimated. They facilitate contact with potential collaborators, share critical insights on the industry, and push you forward to ensure that you are at the forefront of innovation, which is crucial for us to make a significant impact.