In Colorado, we know all too well the devastating effects of wildfires. The loss of community, loss of loved ones, loss of homes and more to the fires is a traumatic experience that far too many Coloradans, and many Westerners, have gone through in recent years.
While the United Nations Environment Program predicts that wildfires, among other natural disasters, will become more frequent and intense in the coming years, Aspen-based company AspenGlo has helped develop a product they say will revolutionize mitigation and protection against forest fires.
AspenGlo, in partnership with Multi-Inc., has developed a new biodegradable flame retardant foam that recently received a federal patent. The foam is intended for use as a protective measure, protecting homes and other structures from fire damage, according to Kent Oliver, general manager of AspenGlo.
The foam has been tested and is safe to use on homes, garages, decks and other structures threatened by forest and structural fires, according to a company press release.
“Wildfires are not going away, and on the contrary, they are going to get worse,” Oliver said. “So what other options do we have to help protect homes and structures? Well, one of them is our product.
Ken Johnson, Founder and President of Multi-Inc., pioneered the idea of creating a more environmentally friendly flame retardant foam. Before his product received a federal patent, Johnson had been working with a chemist for seven years to see his idea come to fruition.
Johnson is a Colorado native who “said his home state of Colorado, with its determined persistence in fighting fires, is ‘finally the right place’ ‘to launch an ad for this biodegradable fire retardant foam’, according to the press release.
Two years ago, AspenGlo entered into a partnership with Multi-Inc. to help develop the product and business plan. In 2021, AspenGlo worked with “firefighters and industry-related partners in Colorado and Idaho to perform initial testing of the flame-retardant biodegradable foam,” the company said in its statement.
After numerous rounds of testing, the product has been shown to protect structures from flames up to 3000 degrees.
Oliver, who helped lead the tests, is a certified red card wildland firefighter and in 2021 fought Caldor Fire in California, which burned 221,835 acres in the northern Sierra Nevada.
“I’ve seen 800 homes burn because what wildfire organizations are using right now is class A foam, which doesn’t last very long,” Oliver said.
He said current foams “help in the short term and minutes before a fire front engulfs structures”. However, the new foam can protect structures for up to seven days, he said.
“I have a lot of experience dealing with wildfires,” Oliver said. “I see him. I see the struggles with that. And labor will always be your biggest problem in wildfires.
Additionally, the newly developed foam uses more environmentally friendly ingredients and less water, Oliver said. However, the environmental impacts of the product are still being tested.
Although the product has received a federal patent, they are still in the early stages of bringing this product to market as Multi Inc. and AspenGlo seek to develop more partnerships.
“We know it works, and we just need to find the partner that’s interested in taking it on,” Oliver said.
To reach Kristen Mohammadi, call 304-650-2404 or email [email protected]
. company based Aspen announces new foam fire retardant biodegradable