Talk is Biotech! with Anneke van Heuven

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Talk is Biotech! with Anneke van Heuven

Guru sat down with Anneke van Heuven, CEO, Co-Founder at AlgoBio, to talk about AlgoBio's non-toxic flame retardant, its efficiency, the impact of using toxic flame retardants and much more.

AlgoBio has developed a non-toxic alternative to flame retardants

The current flame retardants being used in multiple industries have toxic chemicals that cause severe health issues and contaminate the environment. Anneke and her co-founders have developed a more environmentally friendly flame retardant as a viable alternative to their toxic counterparts. Their non-toxic flame retardant is created using a bio-based polymer extracted from seaweed and mixed with nanoparticles. This combination gives it its flame-retardant property, and it can be applied as a coating onto different textiles.

Impact of using toxic flame retardants

Anneke stresses the importance of switching to non-toxic flame retardants. The toxic chemicals present in these flame retardants have made their way into our drinking water and are bioaccumulating. These flame retardants are heavily used in the electronics and electric vehicles industries and are very difficult to dispose of. It’s urgent that we transition h to non-toxic flame solutions or else this helpful yet harmful tool will continue to damage our planet.

Vertical burn test assessment using AlgoBio’s non-toxic flame retardant

The vertical burn test is the standard test performed to measure the flame resistance properties of a test material. The industry standard for textiles is to have a burn rate under a hundred millimeters per minute. AlgoBio’s flame retardant’s burn rate ranges from 4 to 20 millimeters per second, verifying its immense potential to become a sustainable replacement.

Advice for aspiring student entrepreneurs

Anneke’s advice for student entrepreneurs is to enroll in mentorship programs, find a niche market for your product, and talk to potential customers to figure out if they want what you’re selling. Engaging in these things can help you de-risk your business and set it up for long-run success.

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