Read the latest news from Cellfion
Cellfion celebrated its first birthday as a company in August. It’s safe to say that we have had an eventful first year packed with technical development and breakthroughs, events and awards and of course, the expansion of the Cellfion team.
With our first year coming to an end we wanted to look back on the past year and have the chance to evaluate, reflect and be thankful for everything that brought us this far. Of course, we didn’t want to keep this to ourselves, we want to share all of this with you, the most important people in Cellfion’s journey.
Click on the link to read the full Yearly Report 2021-2022.
Last week Cellfion attended the Canada-Sweden Innovation Days and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcomes of the days in Toronto.
We have Ignite Sweden, Vinnova, Business Sweden and Paper Province, among others, to thank for this great event where we had the chance to meet and connect with relevant customers, partners, industry leaders and other stakeholders We’ve had the pleasure of making valuable connections and learn more about how Sweden and Canada can collaborate to bring forward innovation and a sustainable future.
Liam Hardey had the chance to get on stage and present Cellfion as one of the startups at the event, which we always appreciate.
”Our mission at Cellfion AB is to make todays energy available tomorrow and to do this we are developing a bio-based membrane that can have a big impact on the climate transition. Membranes are commonly used in large scale batteries and hydrogen storage and energy conversion devices – which are technologies at the heart of the clean energy transition. The membrane is a critical component in ensuring the devices durability and performance. However, fossil-based materials dominate the market today and at Cellfion, we’re developing a solution that is made from an abundant raw materials. Our innovative technology uses the most abundant biopolymer on the planet – cellulose. We fabricate membranes made from materials from the forest, and through modification, we can adapt the membranes properties to fit specifications of different devices. This way, we’re able to contribute to energy storage solutions in a sustainable, innovative manner”.
Cellfion celebrates its first anniversary by securing financing to enable the next steps towards the commercialization of the world’s first biobased membrane.
The transition to replace fossil fuels with renewable, green energy has been moving at an unprecedented rate in the last decade. However, the expansion of the renewable energy industry doesn’t come without its challenges – especially where energy storage is concerned. Intermittent renewable energy, such as wind and solar, require a means of storing energy, since the sun isn’t always shining and the wind isn’t always blowing. Rapidly emerging technologies in the form of Redox Flow Batteries and hydrogen can provide the perfect solution, where energy can be stored and discharged upon demand. Cellfion is here to enable these solutions and ensure sustainability with their unique biobased membranes.
The unique characteristics and raw materials of Cellfion’s membrane is what sets them apart in today’s market. Cellfion’s technology is made from the most abundant biopolymer on the planet, cellulose, derived from wood. By extracting cellulose nano fibrils from wood, and modifying the surfaces, the fibrils can be fabricated into sheets of membranes that can be used as critical components in energy storage and conversion devices, such as Redox Flow Batteries and fuel cells. The fact that Cellfion’s membranes are made from an abundant forest material makes them not only sustainable, but also cost-effective.
“To the best of our knowledge and extensive research- we are the first company working towards the commercialization of biobased membranes with no toxic substances at all”, says Liam Hardey, CEO of Cellfion and Forbes 30 under 30 2022 nominee.
State-of-the-art commercial membranes are often made from PFAS-based substances, a substance the EU Commission will put restrictions on during 2023. With these restrictions, the need for alternative membranes is expected to grow massively, and impact start-up Cellfion aims to be at the forefront of this movement.
Cellfion stems from 10 years of research at KTH Royal Institute of Sweden, Linköping University and RISE. When taking the steps from research to a commercial product, it’s important to surround the company with good partners that are long-term and believe in the company’s mission. Cellfion has now secured a seed investment of 14 million SEK from Almi Invest Green Tech, Voima Ventures, Klimatet Invest, LiU Invest and KTH Holding.
”With our investment in Cellfion, we drive the development of an innovative material for energy storage solutions that enables the transition to renewable energy and thereby reduces greenhouse gas emissions”, says Karin Edström, Investment Manager at Almi Invest GreenTech. “With their bio-based membrane, which is both cost-effective and more tunable than today’s commercial membrane, Cellfion has a strong position to enter the market”.
“This is what deep tech investing is all about, solving big problems that really matters. There are huge amounts of energy that are being lost from renewable energy sources due to the limitations of energy storage. Membranes is of the most crucial components to reach high efficiency. With an ambition to replace toxic and fossilbased membranes, the potential for Cellfion is huge. Additionally, the accelerating energy crisis makes the demand for sustainable solutions greater than ever, and Cellfion has the potential of becoming the new market leader”, states Jenny Engerfelt, Investment Director at Voima Ventures.
The equity injection enables Cellfion to continue the development towards being a scalable manufacturer of sustainable membranes. In the coming years, the company plans to expand their team, begin their rapid prototyping by working with customers and partners, and focus on getting their first product to market.
Cellfion’s ambition is to create the most innovative, scalable and sustainable materials for green energy devices. “If the clean energy industry is to become sustainable, we need to ensure that the materials we are using are also truly sustainable,” says Magnus Wikström, Director of Board at Cellfion.
It’s time to take action against these ”forever chemicals”!
Did you know that many commercial membranes today contain PFAS? A substance that is considered to be very toxic and bad for the environment.
”All PFAS are either extremely persistent in the environment or break down into extremely persistent PFAS, which has earned them the nickname “forever chemicals.”
That’s why we believe that Cellfion’s bio-based membranes are the answer- they are made from forrest materials which makes them non-toxic and safe for the environment. They do not pose any dilemmas about how to dispose of them at the end of their life cycle since they can simply be incinerated.
Read more about PFAS by clicking on the picture.
Meet our very own Research Engineer, Linus Kristoffersson. Linus has been with us since January this year as a master’s student and has recently started his fulltime position as a Research Engineer at Cellfion.
Some interesting information about Linus:
- Newly graduated from KTH Engineer master’s program focusing on energy and environment
- During his master’s thesis Linus impressed by demonstrating the potential for CNF membranes in Vanadium Redox Flow batteries.
Linus will be working with developing Cellfion’s membrane, implementing it in electrochemical devices and testing the product together with partners and customers.
Meet our newest (but also oldest) team member at Cellfion. Sanna Lander is our Material Developer that has started her part time position at Cellfion this August.
Some interesting information about Sanna:
- Has a master’s degree in Material Physics and has been working on her industrial doctorate at BillerudKorsnäs and LiU (LOE) within the competence center Digital Cellulose Center since 2018
- Will now continue as a PhD student while working at Cellfion
- Sanna is one of the original inventors to the patent that Cellfion was founded on
Sanna will be working with developing nanocellulose materials for Cellfion’s membranes and also validate and test the membranes in battery technologies.
In the efforts worldwide to break our dependency on fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy harvesting alternatives, sustainable energy storage systems will be crucial to achieve success. As many of the renewable energy harvesting systems can only deliver energy intermittently, energy storage is needed to balance demand and grid fluctuations. Several of the most promising technologies for large-scale energy storage, such as redox flow batteries and fuel cells, rely on ion-selective membranes for a proper function.
In the article published by Sanna Lander, one of Cellfion’s founding scientists and new member of the Cellfion team, findings have been made that pave the way to new green organic materials, such as nanocellulose membranes, for fully sustainable aqueous organic redox flow battery solutions.
Our fantastic team will grow with 2 more talented and dedicated teammembers starting this fall. Linus Kristoffersson, who has done his master’s thesis at Cellfion since January 2022, will be coming into the team a an electrochmical engineer focusing on the development and application of our membrane. Sanna Lander, who is one of the founding researchers for Cellfion’s membrane, will be working 50% as a Material Developer from September 1st. We plan on adding more talented people to the team in the near future and look forward to seeing how our team can grow and reach our goals together.
The last six months have been both hectic and very exciting. We have added new talents to our team, participated in our first events and conferences and won several awards such as the Venture Cup regionals for Impact Maker and Beyond Academic. Our very own CEO was listed in Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list, won the Sweden-Swiss pitch competition arranged by KTH and attended Å-pitch in Finland. These events, and other news, you can read about on our website through the link below. As the summer vacations approach we look back with pride and look forward to take the next step in Cellfion’s journey, which begins with moving into our own laboratory facilities and starting our rapid prototyping by the end of this summer.
Thank you to our stakeholders. Without you, none of this would be possible. So we would like to send a big thank you and we hope that you want to come along for the journey ahead aswell!
We wish you all a great summer!
The Cellfion team
Cellfion has had the chance to attend the IFBF – International Flow Battery Forum in Bussels and connect with experts and enthusiasts in Redox Flow batteries.
The forum har brought together users, manufacturers and suppliers to exchange knowledge and raise awareness and interest towards flow batteries.
Redox flow batteries are identified as a promising technology to ensure large-scale penetration of renewable energy sources.
We were especially intrigued to see a variety of solutions with different electrolytes that look promising for the future. Apart from Vanadium, which dominates the market right now, there are promising alternatives such as iron-chromium and zink/polyodide.
We are very happy to have attended the event and hope to see even more users and manufacturers attending in the future as the awareness and interest in redox flow batteries increases. We have made many important connections that will be crucial in our development and establishment of our membrane on the market.
With their high energy efficiency of 70-80%, their economical lifecycle costs and affordable capital cost, Redox flow batteries are a very interesting and promising entrance market for Cellfion’s membranes.
So how exactly do they work?
RBF’s consist of two tanks separated by an electrochemical cell. Electrolyte fluids circulate through the tanks and past the cell to initiate a chemical reaction where electrons are exchanged. The membrane separates the negolyte and posolyte solutions and energy in electrochemical form is stored.
Redox Flow batteries is a technology which will serve to stabilize the power grids and support the expantion of renewable energy.
This technology is a clear choice for Cellfion and we hope that more companies and industries see its benefits soon aswell!
What an interesting afternoon we had at Norrköping Tech Day 2022 yesterday! 💡
We had the pleasure of hearing about the latest innovations here in Norrköping in the shift from fossil fuels to green energy solutions but also the need for efficient energy storage to meet the energy demands worldwide. Companies and the people working for our future here in Norrköping, such as Epishine, Kim Silander and Againity inspire and bring hope for the future. 💡
Liam Hardey had the opportunity to present Cellfion as a startup in CleanTech and also talk about his entrepreneural journey from a football player in England to a CEO at a startup in Sweden.
We appreciate all the oportunities we get to network, meet and get inspired by other innovators, companies and other who all share the same goal: make the world sustainable and better for all.
We are very honored and proud to announce that Cellfion won not one, but two, prizes at the Venture Cup SwedenStartup 2022 regional final competition last week! 🥳
The Cellfion team took home the prize of Beyond Academic and Impact Maker. We are very grateful for the support and the recognision this opportunity brings! Is has been an honor to compete with such inspirational and hard working startups and meet such amazing people.
Together with the other winners such as Flexspenser, Norbite and Oppioo we will be going to the Swedish finals in October to compete for the national award that comes with a cash prize and most importantly the honor of being chosen as Swedens most promising startup. We can’t wait to get there and we will definitely put our A-game on!
Hope to see you there cheering for us!😊
Liam Hardey and Alexandra Troulioti from the Cellfion team attended the World Hydrogen Summit 2022 in Rotterdam this week. What an experience it has been. These days have been full of interesting conversations and innovative ideas with international hydrogen leaders from across the hydrogen value chain.
We’ve seen many impressive innovations lika fuel cells and PEM electrolysers up close (and been in one through VR-glasses) and connected with people that play a key role in the development and future of hydrogen.
As a startup, this summit has brought us knowledge, important connections and given us even more drive towards making our bio-based membrane a crucial part of the hydrogen infrastructure.
See more from the summit and exhibitions here
Cellfion’s CEO, Liam Hardey, recieved the very excited news of being selected to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list for 2022 for Manufacturing & Industry this week. Of course it is an honor and a great achievement that the Cellfion team is very proud of.
Liam himself describes it as ”An incredible compliment for the hard work that is being put in by everyone at Cellfion!”.
Forbes Europe 30 Under 30 Manufacturing list features young people innovating with new materials, new software paradigms and even new kinds of spacecraft engines. Liam has been selected with the following motivations in forbes site: ”Then there’s Liam Hardey, whose company Cellfion AB is turning cellulose from wood into sustainable, bio-based membranes to be used as components in clean energy products”.
Visit Forbes site to find out more about the latest innovations and the inspiring people who make it happen!
We are happy to announce that Cellfion is now one of the finalists for Venture Cup Sweden’s startup regional finals taking place on May 17th! The winner gets to go on to compete in the finals this autumn and have the chance to win the Startup of the year award.
As we speak, on the 3rd of May, the Cellfion team is on its way to Venture Cup in Stockholm to present our pitch to the jury that will decide if we are going to the finals or not.
We are a bit nervous but very excited!
The Swedish Energy Agency (the Swedish Energy Agency) has decided to grant support in the form of a grant to Cellfion AB for the implementation of the project “Forrest based membranes for organic energy storage ”during the period 1 May 2022 – 31 October 2022.
This project aims to validate and optimize Cellfion’s forest-based nanocellulose membrane. The starting point will be to optimize the membrane properties based on the specific requirements set by different industrial uses redox electrolytes. Our goals are to reduce the ionic resistance of the membrane and prevent the redox species on the two sides from penetrating the membrane and thus ends up on the wrong side (crossover) and causes performance loss. To also be able to offer a green alternative to today’s perfluorinated fossil-based ion-conducting membranes would help the commercialization of redox flow batteries and thus offer a green energy storage option.
”Ion selective membranes are at the heart of energy conversion and harvesting, water treatment, and biotechnologies. The currently available membranes are mostly based on expensive and non-biodegradable polymers. Here, we report a cation-selective and low-cost membrane prepared from renewable nanocellulose and 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic acid which simultaneously serves as crosslinker and source of anionic surface groups.”
- • A renewable, low cost crosslinked nanocellulose membrane was reported.
- • The crosslinked membranes show excellent ion conductivity and selectivity.
- • A higher amount of crosslinker results in a greater ion conductivity.
- • An optimal ionic selectivity obtained at an addition of the crosslinker of 20 wt%.
- • This nanocellulose membrane is promising for ionic devices and upscaled applications.
Authors: Hongli Yang, Jesper Edberg, Viktor Gueskine, Mikhail Vagin, Mehmet Girayhan Say, Johan Erlandsson, Lars Wågberg, Isak Engquist, Magnus Berggren
In the future, their nanocellulose membranes will enable the fabrication of renewable energy storage devices, like hydrogen fuel cells and redox flow batteries, as well as replace the current non-renewable membranes on the market”.
We had the honor to be interviewd by DCC (Digital Cellulose Center) the other day where CEO, Liam Hardey talked about Cellfion’s journey and the unique characterictics of its’ ion-selective membranes. The research behind Cellfion’s membrane originates from the Digital Cellulose Center (DCC) research on Ion-selective membranes.
Read more about Cellfion’s bio-based membrane solutions in the article that Digital Cellulose Center wrote about us 🍃
Every year large amounts of energy is lost from renewable sources due to the limitations of energy storage whilst fossil fuels were burned for energy. Redox Flow Batteries and hydrogen are suitable sources to eliminate this problem. However, they have bottlenecks due to the high prices and poor performing materials. A major contributor to this is the membrane, the material that is found at the heart of almost all electrochemical storage and conversion cells, for example, Fuel Cells, PEM Electrolysers and Large-Scale batteries among others.
Due to the unique characteristics of Cellfion’s membranes and the know-how of the technical team, we can optimize our membrane’s features for a more compatible integration supporting the transition to clean energy devices such as FuelCells and Electrolysers.
Cellfion’s nanocellulose based, ion-selective, membranes are developed for use in energy conversion and storage devices such as electrolysers, fuel cells and redox flow batteries.
The strength of Cellfion AB ’s membrane technology, in addition to being made from renewable resources, is the ability to tune the properties of the membranes to suit specific demands. An example is the wide range of chemistries available for redox flow batteries which all have different requirements on the membrane. Cellfion’s membrane can be specifically tuned for each system.
Cellulose is a biopolymer, one of the main components of wood together with hemicellulose and lignin. Cellulose in wood is part of a hierarchical structure where the smallest cellulose-based structure is the cellulose nanofibril. The individualized nanofibrils are obtained as a hydrogel which is used to form our membranes.
The combination of the dimensions of the nanofibrils and the possibility to modify their surfaces with a wide range of chemical moieties, enables the production of materials with specifically tuned properties. Pore size and ion-selectivity are two properties which are key for our high-performing, ion-selective membrane.
Read more about our solution
”I have always had this vision for Cellfion, of a “Clean Tech Factory” where we could produce a range of bio-based materials, for a more sustainable future”.
Cellfion is a young startup company that is growing, fast. While we look forward and plan for the future we also like to glance at the journey that we have made this far.
The research that lead to Cellfion’s establishment started over 8 years ago by Sweden’s three largest research institutes, LiU, RISE and KTH. Many of the researchers are still actively working with Cellfion today. Fast forward to 2020, Liam Hardey is introduced to Cellfion through an entrepreneur’s trainee program at LEAD (Business Incubator), and Cellfion gets its’ own CEO.
“During six months we conducted an extensive market investigation to better understand the potential for the new membrane technology. What we found was an exponentially growing market and a solid need for performance improvements and lower costs”. Since then, the Cellfion team has grown from 1 to 5 members and is making its way into the growing market of green energy solutions.
“Cellfion is a company that has the potential to become a successful and scalable company in a rapidly growing market. I expect us to keep building our team with fantastic talented members and to begin delivering products to the market during 2023/24”.