Creating a Pollution-Free World
We are a green technology company incorporated in 2015 focused on designing smart materials for environmental applications.
Our belief is that deep science holds the answers to a myriad of environmental challenges that pose a threat to our planet and wellbeing.
Cutting-edge material design coupled with creative engineering can provide a new horizon for addressing the global market PFAS treatment requirements.
Protecting Environmental and Human Health
The PFAS Challenge
The PFAS family comprises approximately 4700 different man-made compounds categorised into different sub-sets. For over 60 years PFAS were used in the manufacturing of many products which led to their widespread release into the environment.
The physio-chemical properties of PFAS make them extremely resistant to natural degradation and they are often referred to as “forever chemicals”, due to their persistence in the environment, such as in soil and water. They are hard to treat and conventional technologies in many cases cannot meet removal demands.
Overwhelming evidence has connected PFAS to severe health effects, such as several types of cancer, and compromised immune-responses, which is now under a spotlight due to Covid-19.
A wave of regulation is now setting PFAS maximum contaminant levels to mitigate population exposure. In February 2020, US Congress approved the PFAS Action Act (2019) and the EU Water Framework Directive was amended to include 20 PFAS compounds.
The company has developed a novel platform technology that facilitates surface modification of a range of select substrates with tailored “PFAS-friendly” molecular groups. The result is a suite of adsorbent materials, exhibiting high selectivity towards diverse PFAS compounds adaptable for multiple applications.
How It Works
The market for treatment of PFAS is driven primarily by regulation and cuts across a wide range of sectors and geographies.
PFAS infiltration into groundwater requires a dedicated approach to enable effective remediation of polluted groundwater sites. Our adsorbents can be implemented easily, enabling retrofitting of existing assets if required. The highly selective PFAS adsorbent requires shorter Empty Bed Contact Times, leading to lower footprints and lower CAPEX. The flexibility of the solution enables application in diverse sites and scenarios.
Potable Water Treatment
New regulations are now requiring utilities to implement treatment solutions to ensure potable water supply is safe. Our adsorbents are adaptable to large volume applications, and are designed with a high selectivity and high adsorption capacity, leading to lower footprints, less downtime, lower change-out frequency and attractive lifecycle costs.
POU systems can serve as an affordable frontline barrier to PFAS for affected communities. Our unique technology platform and production methods allow functionalisation of various substrates, hence our technology can be applied in diverse formats to meet a wide range of POU system demands.
Many manufacturing facilities are required to treat their wastewater to meet stringent regulations prior to discharge into the environment or the municipal sewage system. Our adsorbents are designed as a polishing step in an industrial wastewater treatment process, whilst also considering high concentrations of PFAS, typically present in this application.
The use of Aqueous Forming Foams (AFFF) has exposed many airports and military bases to environmental challenges pertaining to PFAS contamination in groundwater and run-off water. Our adsorbents can be tailored to remove different classes of PFAS at varying concentrations, depending on the circumstances. An easily deployable and effective treatment solution can be designed for meeting environmental discharge permits.
Meet the Team
We have an A* team with strong diversity and inclusion focus, comprising a range of individuals representing different cultures, ethnicities, ages, backgrounds and experiences.
We are proud that all of our team members are passionate about creating meaningful and long-term societal and environmental impact.
Chief Executive Officer
Following his 1st class Meng in Bioengineering, Henrik completed an Enterprise Fellowship with the Royal Academy of Engineering 1851 Royal Commission. In 2018, Henrik was awarded the MIT Tech Review 35 Innovators under 35 and featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for Industry & Manufacturing. He practices Wushu, has worked as a potato farmer, and cycled the Silk Route from China to Denmark in 87 days.
Octavia Blackburn, PhD
Head of Product Development
Octavia completed a PhD in Chemistry at The University of Manchester studying dyes for electronic paper. She has 10 years post-PhD research experience as a postdoc at The University of Oxford researching lanthanide coordination chemistry, and in various positions at Syngenta, BP and Johnson Matthey. In her spare time, Octavia enjoys painting furniture and playing squash.
Chief Strategy Officer
Gabi holds a BSc in Biochemistry from Imperial College London. Her background spans cofounding the synthetic biology society SynBIC, venture investing in biotech/agritech and winning 2nd place at science competitions like iGEM. Having carried out research across Duke-NUS, Imperial College and industry, she serves as Chief Strategy Officer at Puraffinity where she pioneered the initial targeted approach for addressing high impact chemicals in water.
Simon Foxon, PhD
Simon has 20 years’ experience working in academia and industry (40 papers and 5 patents), with a BSc and DPhil in chemistry from the University of York. He has a broad depth of knowledge, spanning chemistry and material science and has previously worked at energy storage start-ups Nexeon and ZapGo. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, running, going to the cinema and herding cats.
Head of Engineering
Following several placements in process engineer roles for various industries, Justin considered himself extremely lucky to have discovered that his true passion lies in water. He has experienced positions from water treatment engineering, through implementation of new technologies to leading innovation projects in the water sector. He is always up for a hike, a cycle or some DIY when weather prohibits outdoors.
Michelle completed an MEng in Chemical Engineering at Swansea University and then worked as a Quality Assurance scientist, where she fabricated and tested organic thin-film transistors. At Puraffinity, she is part of the engineering team working on material performance in different water treatment applications. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys dancing, binge watching Netflix series and the occasional drink with friends.
Chief Financial Officer
James has 25 years’ experience in finance and has held senior finance positions across large corporates and AIM-listed companies/early-stage businesses, offering both strategic and commercial support for developing business growth. In his spare time, James enjoys sports like rugby and tennis. He also supports several charitable initiatives and is a trustee of a children’s charity supporting orphans in India.
Technical Business Development Manager
Luciano Arruda is a Chemical Engineer with over 32 years of experience in sales, business development, strategic marketing, and distribution. With a notable background at Monsanto Chemicals and Dover Corporation, where he held positions as LATAM General Manager and Global Channels Director. Beyond his professional achievements, Luciano finds joy in exploring new places through travel and indulging in the art of gastronomy.
Schelly has 4 years of experience as a Chemical & Manufacturing Lab Technician at Boehringer-Ingelheim in Vienna. With Experience working in Non-GMP departments such as Research and Development and GMP departments such as Quality Control and Production (Manufacturing), Schelly joins Puraffinity to expand on her knowledge and expertise.
Outside the Lab, Schelly enjoys hiking, skiing and baking. She is a frequent traveller with an avid interest in learning about other cultures.
Alex James, PhD
Product Development Scientist
Following on from his MChem degree Alex completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield designing microporous materials for applications in sustainability and solubility. Upon completion of his PhD Alex went on to gain a postdoctoral position at the University of Liverpool working under Prof. Andrew Cooper designing new materials for gas capture and separation. Outside of work Alex enjoys travelling, listening to music and playing lots of tennis!
Esteban has nearly a decade of operational experience covering marketing, buying and merchandising. He’s worked in rapid growth companies and luxury fashion stores across two continents, and helps businesses develop company-wide administrative processes whilst also providing support to senior stakeholders. He has a BSc in International Studies, and in his spare time enjoys travelling and attending music festivals.
Leah has a BSc in Computer Science from The University of Westminster. She is currently working towards a Lab Technician qualification alongside a diploma in Applied Science. Previously she studied digital design and photography, and volunteered as a graphic designer along with creating digital graphics freelance. In her spare time, Leah enjoys building model kits, drawing portraits, and taking care of her collection of tarantulas.
Product Development Scientist
Liberty has an MChem from the University of Bath. Her research experience focused on water adsorbent technology with a circular economy approach, including Metal-Organic Frameworks. Her work experience includes nanofiltration and electrodialysis technology comparisons for liquid waste separation at PWN Technologies in the Netherlands. In her spare time, Liberty can be found dancing, mainly ballet and tap, or baking.
Khai D. Q. Nguyen, PhD
Senior Product Development Scientist
Khai is a Chartered Chemist and has been working in different sectors of industry and academic with working experiences in various fields including self-healing composites, quantum dots, silicone elastomers and biomaterials. He holds master and PhD degrees in Polymer Chemistry and Polymer Composites and is a co-author of several papers and 5 patents. He enjoys playing football, travelling and reading about nature and history.
Junior Chemical Engineer
Thayne completed a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick while completing multiple research based placements. He then worked as an R&D Engineer, with a focus on process improvement. Combining technical process design knowledge with lab experience Thayne is working with process scale up as a member of the Engineering team. Outside of work Thayne enjoys cycling, travelling and playing/coaching several sports.
Marika has a BSc in Biomedical Science from the University of Kent. Following years of experience in medical and healthcare environments she moved to preventative work in the form of water testing, then joined Puraffinity to expand her chemical and engineering knowledge.
In her spare time Marika enjoys reading, baking, and travelling.
Steve Colley, PhD, MBA
Dr. Colley has over 25 years’ experience and expertise transcending process engineering, process development and industrial chemistry with focus on developing adsorbents for high-value markets. Previously Water Director for Johnson Matthey Water Technologies Division, he now consultants privately on Ion Exchange and Ion Exchange processes and is an independent manufacturer of selective Ion Exchange/Chelating materials.
Steve Gluck, PhD
Dr. Gluck specialises in water and wastewater treatment technologies, with over 30 years’ experience in this field. His expertise includes water chemistry and systems for water treatment, membrane technology, analytical chemistry, technical due diligence and technical exploration. Until 2015, he held a fellow position at Dow Chemical leading development in the fields of water technology, alternative feedstocks from algae, environmental analytical chemistry, process analysis, and organic chemicals analysis.
Frank Brigano, PhD
Dr. Brigano has over 30 years’ experience in the Point-of-Use market. He’s worked for leading Tier 1 POU manufacturers, and over the last 13 years, until recently, held the role of VP within Marmon Water leading technology development efforts and IP portfolio management of many of Marmon Water’s daughter companies. He also served as Vice-Chairman and voting member of the NSF International Drinking Water Treatment Unit Joint Committee and Chairman of the NSF International Certification Council.
Investors, Supporters & Partners
We are thrilled to be partnering with exceptional organisations who continually support us and our mission.
HG ventures is the corporate venture arm of The Heritage Group of Indianapolis USA who specialises in investing and partnering with companies developing advanced materials and sustainability tech companies
Octopus Ventures back founders who are changing the world for the better. They invest in where they can make the greatest impact, getting behind businesses that put people, community and the environment first.
UMi believe businesses have the power to make a difference and that by working together, businesses can do more and go further.