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Sonichem raises £1.2m to turn sawdust into sustainable chemicals

Image credit: Sonichem

Sonichem, an East Midlands company that converts forestry by-products such as sawdust into renewable biochemicals, has raised £1.2m.

Founded in 2010 as Bio-Sep, Sonichem is looking to replace the industrial reliance on petrochemicals, which contribute significantly to global carbon emissions.

Rebranded in 2023 to focus more on its sustainability contributions, the company is developing alternative biochemicals for use in industries such as cosmetics, materials and pharmaceuticals.

Sonichem’s product is sourced from the vast amounts of sawdust produced by sawmills, which can be broken down and repurposed.

The Melton Mowbray-based firm claimed that for every £1 worth of sawdust, it can create £8 worth of bio-based sustainable chemicals, as well as reduce the need for petroleum-sourced chemicals.

Adrian Black, CEO of Sonichem, said: “At Sonichem, our mission is to make the chemical industry more sustainable.”

Black said that now additional funds have been secured, the company will look to enter the “next stage of commercial development”, explore options to raise Series A funding and develop its biorefinery plant in the north of the UK.

The funding round included a follow-on investment from ACF Investors.

“The market for sustainable bio-based chemicals has evolved rapidly in the last few years,” said ACF Investors managing partner Tim Mills.

“Driving this growth is global demand to transition supply chains to robust and cost-viable sources of supply, which utilise clean technological solutions that reduce our reliance on non-sustainable hydrocarbon reserves.

“Sonichem’s technology forms an essential part of the global transition story and we are delighted to be a part of their remarkable journey.”