Mercia EIS Funds

Company pioneering new uses for ‘wonder material’ secures £635k investment

A Salford company which has found a new way to create miniature speakers and extra-thin sound insulation using highly porous materials has closed a £635,000 investment round led by Mercia Fund Managers.

Carbon Air’s technology stems from research by the University of Salford and uses activated carbon, whose structure enables it to absorb large quantities of air. The material, also known as activated charcoal, is widely used for water filtration but Carbon Air has found innovative ways to use it for other purposes, ranging from acoustic panels and loudspeaker housings to vehicle suspension parts.

Established in 2012, the business is run by CEO John Coakley and a small team of scientists who can draw on support from academics within the university. Carbon Air is currently working with original equipment manufacturers in the automotive sector and generating income by licensing its technology for use in air springs. The funding will allow it to expand its activities to include manufacturing and will create around five new jobs.

Ashish Kumaraswarmy, Investment Director with Mercia Fund Managers, said: “Activated carbon is a wonder material that can ‘breathe in’ extraordinary quantities of air. Carbon Air was the first to accurately model the processes at play and identify its potential for use across a wide range of industries, from audio and acoustic to automotive and construction. The funding will allow it to expand its activities and target other high-value sectors.”