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Sonichem Technologies (Sonichem) is a young UK company that has developed a unique, low energy, environmentally friendly, Biomass biorefinery Technology to provide clean and green sustainable separation of non-food woody biomass into high value biochemicals for use in personal care products, pharmaceutical products and various performance materials products. Sonichem was previously known as Bio-Sep, rebranding in October 2023.

Steven Brooks, a passionate sugar chemist, founded the company and developed the concept of the technology.  Steven saw the waste from sugar cane production, the Bagasse (or the leftover sugar cane), which is over 50% of the plant, was just left to rot or burn. He started looking at low energy solutions that would break down woody biomass, the fibrous part of the sugar cane, into three high value biochemical products.  The concept and prototype was developed with the support of the University of Bath and Imperial College London, before the company was set-up in 2010.

Adrian Black, CEO, is now heading up the operation, with the management team of Miranda Lindsay-Fynn, Commercial Director and Andrew West, Chief Chemist.

Sonichem has developed and patented a novel, ultrasonic technology capable of converting lignocellulosic biomasses (e.g. hard and softwoods and potentially straws, grasses, etc) efficiently, cleanly and economically into cellulose, sugars and lignin. The process is designed to be modular and scalable, allowing for continuous production units of any size tailored to suit the needs of feedstock producers, chemical processors, and product manufacturers.

The company is operating a Pilot Plant, now in its 3rd optimised and scalable iteration and have just started producing Kg samples for potential customers!  Sonichem has the support of Scottish Forestry with a project to produce high value lignin from spruce biomass from Scotland.  The first product being produced is a natural lignin, which is reactive and soluble in a range solvents and generating interest in the bio composite market. Other end products are a  mixed sugar syrup, containing the rare sugars mannose, xylose, arabinose and glucose and a micro-crystalline cellulose, a high value speciality biochemical which can be used in the Cosmetics and Pharma sectors.

The company has just secured a significant  investment round, which will see them through to a Series A round for commercialisation in the next 15 months!

We wish the team well with their journey towards commercialisation – we will be watching their progress closely.

You can find lots more info on the Sonichem website.

If you would like to know more about this fascinating company, please contact John Allies at john@strategicallies.co.uk.

Images courtesy of Sonichem Technologies Limited.