London start-up targeting circa £40bn global thermal insulation market with thermally efficient and affordable aerogel
London-based start-up business Thermulon is raising over £450K through a crowd-funding campaign to help further commercialise its unique, cost-effective aerogel product, designed to make buildings energy efficient without compromising on fire safety.
Aerogels are the most insulating materials in existence but current production costs have made thermally efficient and fire safety-compliant products cost prohibitive for the construction sector. Thermulon has however developed an innovative production process utilising new continuous chemical pathways to produce an affordable aerogel without compromising on fire-safety or thermal performance.
The company is now aiming to scale up production to capitalise on its innovation as the global thermal insulation market is set to increase by around 5% to £38.95bn by 2025. The growth is being driven by net-zero targets mandating better home insulation to reduce CO2 emissions and safety factors including the need to replace cladding on many residential buildings across the UK after legislative changes which followed the Grenfell fire tragedy in 2017.
Investment raised through the CrowdCube campaign will be used to further develop Thermulon’s production processes; grow its advisory team and support its route to commercialisation.
The company will then initially target the UK retrofit market of solid-wall properties, which account for 25% of property building stock which equates to an estimated eight million dwellings. The UK high-rise building market, where combustible materials are banned, will become another key market focus and, longer term, Thermulon aims to extend its offering to the global thermal insulation market.
Thermulon was set up in 2019 by co-founder and Chemistry PhD Dr Samuel Cryer; chemical and process engineering specialist Alexander Murdock; and Rozalie Ryclova, a business development professional with extensive start-up company experience.
The company currently operates from labs within Imperial College London under a contract with Imperial College Consultants Ltd. which includes support from reaction engineering expert Prof Klaus Hellgardt and access to the university’s world-class synthetic chemistry, analytical and process engineering facilities.
Thermulon has secured funding support from a number of bodies including Sustainable Ventures, Sky Ocean Ventures and Innovate UK, which has awarded the company £750K in grant funding.
Writing in Futurebuild’s Industry Insider Newsletter, Dr Oliver Jones, Research Director at Ryder Architecture, recently named Thermulon as one of three ‘game-changing’ products in construction.
Dr Samuel Cryer, Thermulon’s CEO said: “Through our innovative production methods, we are developing a means of producing an aerogel which is cost-effective, energy efficient and fire resistant. This is game-changing for the construction industry at a time when there is a major focus on enhancing energy efficiency in buildings and delivering high safety standards within cladding on residential developments.
“Our innovation has also been recognised for its significant potential by organisations including the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Academy of Engineering and a number of grant funding bodies whose support is helping us develop and commercialise our proposition. The CrowdCube fundraise is a further key step in this process which will support Thermulon in bringing its product to the substantial and fast-growing thermal insulation market.”
Further details of Thermulon’s CrowdCube campaign can be found here