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Floreon, a University of Sheffield spinout bags £2M for inventing bioplastics from plants

Floreon funding
Picture credits: Floreon

Manchester-based Northern Gritstone, an investment firm focusing on science and technology-enabled businesses, has announced a £2 million Series A investment in the UK, Hull-based Floreon Technology. Previously, Northern Gritstone has invested in C-Capture and QV Bioelectronics The startup is a spinout from the University of Sheffield and has invented what it claims to be the world’s first low-energy, non-oil-based bioplastics.

Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Shaun Chatterton, Floreon, based in Hull, collaborated with the University of Sheffield through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. The result of their joint efforts is a range of bioplastics has been crafted from plant-based sources such as corn and sugar cane. As per the company, these bioplastics boast performance levels comparable to Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), a commonly used plastic polymer found in various industries, including automotive, electronics, and toys.

With over 99% of the world’s plastics derived from fossil fuels, Floreon’s plant-based alternatives proclaim to provide an eco-friendly solution. By utilising plants to extract carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into sugars for material production, Floreon claims to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of up to seven times compared to traditional oil-based plastics.

Revolutionary bioplastics products

Floreon’s product range includes Therma-Tech, the so-called first bioplastic globally to achieve UL94V-0 flammability certification, making it suitable for applications like home electronics, automotive components, and construction. Further, there’s Dura-Tech, an alternative to ABS without requiring fire resistance, and Bio-Tech, an industrially compostable version ideal for food packaging and agricultural uses.

The £2 million investment will be utilised by Floreon to expand its team and bring these bioplastics to the market. Further, the funding will also support research, development, and market entry, driving the adoption of sustainable materials in various industries.

Shaun Chatterton, Founder and Chair of Floreon said: “Everyday oil-based plastics are contributing to the global environmental crisis. Our vision is to offer brands an alternative product and through this transform the global plastics market. We are delighted to partner with Northern Gritstone. Their support, experience and investment will enable us to develop our team and deliver our commercial strategy.”

Duncan Johnson, CEO of Northern Gritstone said: “Floreon has developed an innovative and unique technology that offers producers a genuine route to reducing the environmental impact of their plastic products. This truly fits into Northern Gritstone’s ‘Profit with Purpose’ philosophy helping to create the world class businesses of tomorrow from the world class science that exists in the North of England today.”

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