At TechAcute, we love ventures that work towards a greener future. For instance, we’re always keen to learn more about start-ups that give waste a new life. Recent winner of the Swiss Technology Award 2019 FenX is one such venture.
FenX and how they started
Created just this year as a spin-off from ETH, FenX is a Zurich-based start-up that uses proprietary technology to create recyclable insulation materials from mineral waste. This demand for such solutions grew over the last few years. CEO Etienne Jeoffroy cites the terrible Grenfell Tower fire in London as an example of the demand.
The increased interest in greener and zero-waste living is also factored in on the demand. Nowadays, consumers want to use eco-friendly materials in their homes more and more. However, they aren’t cheap. FenX’s product could be an answer to this problem.
Forming the foams
The insulation foams produced by FenX are non-toxic, non-flammable, and produce zero CO2 emissions at the manufacturing stage. They use industrial waste as the source material for these foams. In the pilot test, the founders used fly ash as a base – but they believe other construction by-products can also be utilized.
Created as a result of an energy-efficient production process, the porous foam can be shaped into all sorts of conventional construction materials. The versatility of the product that can turn into bricks, panels or any other shapes thanks to 3D printing technology looks like a strong response to many customers’ specifications.
Currently, the Swiss start-up’s project is still in its developmental stage. Their target is to use any kind of construction waste in their production in any region. However, fulfilling that kind of ambition requires financial support and a partner to scale.
The goal is to raise SFr 1.5M by April 2020 and have the foams ready for the market by 2021. According to co-founder Dr. Michele Zanini, bringing it to market is the only way something can be done to reduce the carbon footprint.
Photo credit: The feature image is owned by FenX and was provided for press usage. All other images used are owned by ETH and were provided for press usage as well.
Sources: Etienne Jeoffroy (ETH Zurich) / Andres Eberhardt (ETH Zurich) / Sybille Zimmermann (ETH Zurich) Chemeurope.com / ING Bank Newsroom / Richard Gray (BBC)