Skip to main content

A start-up Auckland firm is applying nanotechnology to a fisheries by-product to manufacture 100% biodegradable, antibacterial air filters—a New Zealand first in an expanding global market.

Revolution Fibres is close to commercialising an air filter made of nano-particle sized fibres that are ‘spun’ from collagen extracted from discarded hoki fish skins.

To make the fibres, the company is building a commercial-scale version of a laboratory-scale electro-spinning machine used by Plant & Food Research in its pioneering research into electro-spinning fibres. The commercial-scale machine is being built with the support of $456,000 in TechNZ investment awarded this year.

Revolution Fibres’ Technical Director Iain Hosie says the company was established with investment by TechNZ, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology’s business assistance programme. The concept to research and develop nano-fibres from raw materials such as collagen stemmed from Plant & Food’s research programme—also funded by the Foundation.

“Air filters are one of many products that have been hugely improved with the use of nanotechnology. We could also use this technology for industries as diverse as medical, textiles and even electronics—using NZ-sourced natural materials in a sector dominated by petro-chemical-derived synthetics,” Hosie says.

Richard Bentley, General Manager Manufacturing and High-Growth Firms at the Foundation, says that Revolution Fibres is fulfilling its vision to create unique fibres from natural and sustainable materials while championing New Zealand technology and innovation.

“TechNZ funding has seen this firm grow from an idea to what could be a large export organisation in a fast growing emerging market,” Bentley says.

The global nano-fibre market is estimated at US$102 million and is expected to grow to US$2.2 billion by 2020.

The biodegradable air filters will soon be available through NZ ventilation company HRV.

Revolution Fibres has received more than $844,000 in TechNZ funding to date.


Dishing up export possibilities

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012

What’s mine is not yours

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012

25 countries… and counting

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012