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Seprify – Sustainable white pigments from cellulose


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  • Projekt-Nr: GRS-076/22 
  • Förderbeitrag: CHF 150'000 
  • Bewilligung: 10.02.2023 
  • Dauer: 04.2023 - 03.2024 
  • Handlungsfeld:  InnoBooster, seit 2018



Seprify (SPY) produces plant-based, high-performance functional materials to enable businesses sustainable and safe products. SPY’s first product is a cellulose-based white pigment to replace titanium dioxide (TiO2). Today, TiO2 dominates the >$16bn white pigment market, with applications in cosmetics, food, pharma, printing, paint, and coating industries. These heavy-metal based nanoparticles have recently been classified as potentially cancerogenic. Therefore, TiO2 is being removed by producers and customers through regulation, and there is no high performance, plant-based alternative available. Through our unique processing control, we provide a safe and renewable TiO2 replacement using micronscale-engineered cellulose. Our material has proven performance in cosmetics, food, pharma and coating industries.


This project allowed to validate our first go-to markets by customizing and testing cellulose white pigments in the food and cosmetic sectors, where regulatory pressure and customer perception drives change.
For this we first produced successfully testing material on the kg-scale, established quality control measures and characterize extensively the material properties relevant for food and cosmetic applications.
The project supported the efforts of the startup company “Seprify AG (formerly Impossible Materials)” that is now scaling up the material production to tons to commercialize the material on an industrial scale.
During the project we went through product development collaborations with potential customers both in food and cosmetics, ending in a joint development project for cosmetics on beauty and skincare products and a commercial offtake negotiation in the food sector for food and beverage products.
We successfully derisk mixing properties, stability, formulation compatibility, whiteness, and taste. Further new material functionalities were discovered and can now be marketed as uniqueness. As an example, using the material as both white pigment and emulsifier allows the creation of creams for cosmetics using fewer ingredients.
Seprify will continue these efforts to provide color and texture from cellulose without harm to our environment and society.


Am Projekt beteiligte Personen

Dr. Lukas Schertel, Project leader
Dr. Shuzhen Chen, Project employee at Université de Fribourg
Dr. Doha Abdelrahman, Project employee at Université de Fribourg

Letzte Aktualisierung dieser Projektdarstellung  02.05.2024