PREBONA TRANSFORMS NATURAL MATERIALS TO HIGH VALUE SOLUTIONS
Prebona is a Swedish material science company that develops and markets high performance products and materials within Nanocoatings, Agriculture and HealthCare. Prebona has a growing base of industrial customers to whom we deliver products in large quantity on regular basis.
We believe in sustainability by reducing waste because our world has limited resources and need to use every gram of material responsibly. At Prebona we reduce waste while providing durable solutions that are better, cost effective and has less environmental impact. Prebona solutions are based on our patented technology, Prebona CompoTech™. We provide high value solutions to customers in major industries such as paint, concrete, facility management, agriculture, textile, food and medicine.
Prebona solutions include groundbreaking antimicrobial systems, dirt repellent materials and odor eliminating substances. Prebona solutions are offered as products under the Prebona brand or as vital components in our customer’s solutions. Prebona CompoTech™ is a unique technology using natural raw materials extremely effectively while allowing production with zero waste. That is what we mean by “every atom counts“. Prebona was founded on the research of Professor Jan-Erik Otterstedt and has decades of experience in nanotechnology and natural materials.
PREBONA – THE STORY
Better with less
What if you could eliminate unpleasant odors in minutes? Keep your windows clean without cleaning? Improve the energy production of your solar panels? Or keep your wooden deck good looking with a minimum of maintenance? And maybe find a solution how to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria? Prebona is today supplying major industrial customers with product in ton-quantities on a regular basis – how did we get here?
How do water, sand and knowledge disrupt industries, products and traditional production methods by using less resources to create better and durable solutions? This is the story of Prebona.
Water, sand and knowledge
Prebona products consists of water, sand and knowledge. Sand made of silica is the most common natural element in the earth’s crust. The chemistry of silica is very old. Dating back to the first people who found out that clay could be converted into usable products such as bowls and containers by heating clay. Silica is extremely durable as it is unaffected by UV-radiation from the sun, rain and wind. Silica is used to make glass and other building materials, e.g. bricks, mortar and concrete. The romans added silica in the form of pozzolana to make concrete that has lasted for more than 2000 years. Silica was also used in the form of water glass to conserve food and in paints for mineral surfaces. In the 19th century, scientists started to explore the chemical nature of silica and develop effective processes for production of products using the unique properties of silica. Prebona has taken the chemistry of silica to new levels allowing for ground breaking new durable products to improve materials such as concrete, wood, textile and plastic to mention a few. Prebona can even make silica a great disinfectant for feet. That is what we mean by Prebona products contain “water, sand and knowledge“.
Every atom counts
Prebona products are based on silica in the form of small uniformly sized spheres dispersed in water. The raw material for Prebona products is called silica sol and is a commodity available globally from a range of suppliers. The small particles in silica sol represent a perfect carrier for natural substances with specific properties. By understanding the chemistry of silica, it is possible to design and manufacture products with unique properties with very limited amount of raw marterial and no waste in the production process. By applying Prebona’s patented technology Prebona CompoTech™ to different silica sols and modifying them with other natural substances, we can provide durable products with unique and superior properties such as soil repellency, hydrophilicity and increased strength. The patented technology enables us to use a minimum of resources with superior properties compared to traditional products and processes. That is how we make roofs dirt repelling, eliminate smell and fight antibiotic-resistant bacterial. That is what we mean by “every atom counts“.
Clean production with no waste
Prebona products are based on the same technology, which makes the production efficient and easy to scale up. The production process is fully automated to ensure highest quality standards. All material that goes into the production process is converted into final products. This is achieved through methods extremely reliant and robust, patented and developed by the company over several years. There is no waste and no air pollution in the production process, which is part of sustainable solutions.
The science of Silica
Fundamental for the story of Prebona’s game changing products is Professor Dr. Jan-Erik Otterstedt. Professor Otterstedt is the inventor of Prebona CompoTech™. Professor Otterstedt’s experience and research on silica cover several decades and continents.
After several years in the US, Professor Otterstedt was hired in 1975 by Swedish company EKA Nobel (now part of AkzoNobel) as technical director. New environmental legislation for the paper industry was emerging. EKA’s product portfolio for the Swedish paper industry relied on a few base chemicals, mainly lye and chlorine. Professor Otterstedt’s mission was to rejuvenate the company’s product portfolio with more environmentally friendly products and to position the company as an innovative chemical supplier to the paper industry.
Based on EKA’s raw material base for silicates and Professor Otterstedt’s knowledge of silica, the development work started. The company decided to focus on silica sols for production of paper and catalysis. The result was Compozil, a silica sol for retention of pulp fiber in the process of making paper. Patent was granted in more than 20 countries and Compozil became quickly a commercial success. EKA being a part of Azko Nobel is today the largest silica sol producer in the world and a reliable supplier of silica sols to Prebona.
In 1981, Professor Otterstedt was appointed Professor in Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. At Chalmers, Professor Otterstedt continued the research on the chemistry of silica and the potential of developing durable products with new and superior properties based on the unique material. His research has resulted in more than 65 scientific publications and findings can be further studied in his book Small Particles Technology (ISBN10 0306459353). Professor Otterstedt developed solutions to reinforce paints and lacquers with silica and a new process for making pigments, which was awarded Skapa innovation price in memory of Alfred Nobel. In 2009 Professor Otterstedt started to develop the idea to use silica in a new way. By modifying silica sols, only a fraction of a natural but often expensive substance needed to be added, to deliver unique and superior properties of materials and surfaces. Prebona CompoTech™ was born. The idea was patented and Prebona AB was founded in 2011 as a start-up at Ideon Science Park in Lund, which is global hub for nano technology. Prebona’s proximity to Lund University and the infrastructure around nano research enables Prebona to get access to unique equipment, competence and students with an interest in a career within nano technology.
In 2014, Christian Östberg aquired Prebona AB from Professor Jan-Erik Otterstedt. In 2015, Prebona was introduced to the stock exchange in Stockholm, Aktietorget, and Orvar Otterstedt joined the company as CEO. Prebona is today a material technology company that develops, produces and markets high performance durable products and materials. The company is located with production, laboratory and officies in Simrishamn, Sweden. Prebona provides solutions to customers in a range of industries and markets such as paint, concrete, facility management, agriculture, textile, food, and healthcare. The product portfolio includes groundbreaking antimicrobial systems, dirt repellent materials and odor eliminating substances. All products are all based on Prebona’s unique and patented technology, Prebona CompoTech™.
Our customers praise our products and solutions in superlative adjectives. They simply regard our solutions superior to many established methods and products. Adding Prebona CompoTech™ to the paint production process will be a paradigm shift to the paint industry. “It will have the same impact as when the paint industry moved from solvent based to water based paint systems” – states one of our customers in the coating business. Other areas of applications are elimination of odors, footwear and roof protection where customers praise the positive effect and ease of application of our products.
Prebona business model
Prebona is today supplying major industrial customers with product in ton-quantities on a regular basis. We focus our sales and business development through commercial partners and resellers. The commercial partner has established distribution channels and a customer base which reduces the time to market for our products and solutions. Our partner Liwa Färg serves as a good example. Together we have developed a range of unique paint products with Prebona CompoTech™ to be distributed through Liwa’s established sales channels. In addition, we sell Prebona branded products, e.g. Prebona DuraClean, Prebona Siccol, and Prebona OdorControl. We distribute them through selected resellers and the products can also be bought in our webshop. The e-business will help us build consumer awareness of Prebona and our products.
Prebona’s head office including sales, marketing, R&D lab and production is located in Simrishamn, Sweden. Sales are organized in three business areas: Nano Coatings, Agriculture and Health Care with a business development director as head for each business area. Prebona has so far two subsidiary companies: Prebona HealthCare AB and Prebona Inc, Prebona’s sales company in the United States.
The board of directors consists of highly qualified individuals with experience from different relevant fields. Here is a link to board of directors.
Prebona CompTech™ enables paradigm shifts in a vast range of potential application areas. The technology has only started to show its power to revolutionize different markets and industries by offering improved durable materials with new and superior properties. We believe that large industries will see paradigm shifts enabled by nano technology in the coming years. Prebona will become a global supplier of superior solutions to major industries.
Our challenge, being a small company, is to choose and focus. It is a balanced mix of sales, marketing, research, product development and IP. We commercialized solutions to the paint industry, building material and facility management and has growing sales within these markets.
The medical industry including healthcare is our next industry to develop. The strategy is to enter licensing agreements with industrial partners for early clinical phase projects and commercialize our solutions in collaboration with them. Established medical companies have development and marketing resources required to bring products to market and clinical use.
According to WHO, antibiotic resistance is currently rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, making it one of the greatest threats to global health, food security, and development today. Antibiotic resistance is putting the achievements of modern medicine at severe risk. Several advanced treatment methods, such as organ transplantations, chemotherapy, and surgeries e.g. caesarean sections become much more dangerous without effective antibiotics for prevention and treatment of bacterial infections. It is estimated that in year 2050, 10 million people will die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria if no new antibiotics are discovered. There is an urgent need for new therapies against and control of infectious diseases. This has motivated Prebona to successfully develop an entirely new form of silver, Prebona AgSol, when combined with already existing antibiotics enhances them so that only 25% of clinical dose is necessary for a relevant effect even for currently antibiotic resistant bacteria. With Prebona AgSol, the effect of existing antibiotics can be boosted and made efficient against currently antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Furthermore, Prebona has the competence and skill to design Prebona AgSol at the atomic level that uniquely enables precise tailoring of therapeutic effect, and keeps even low doses of antibiotics within the therapeutic window. The effect of Prebona AgSol has been tested and verified by the most acknowledged researchers within the field of antibiotic-resistance in Sweden. Prebona AgSol is patented and represents a true revolution in treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is a disruptive technology that can be implemented quickly by any current producer of antibiotics. Prebona AgSol is currently used in commercial products such as disinfectants for human hygiene and is highly appreciated by health care professionals and athletes for its effectiveness. Prebona is committed to become a winner in the global fight against infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
We will initially exploit the possibilities through licensing to pharmaceutical companies. It will take a few years to reach the client, but just the thought that Prebona contributed to a better world by solving a serious health problem – is exciting enough!
Another large area of interest that Prebona may exploit in the future is nano catalysis, which makes it possible to use catalysis in novel ways to create sustainable solutions with new and exciting properties.
Prebona’s journey has just started and the story continues. Please, join us!