Test1 CEO Alessandro Taini tells us about the genesis of his company: ‘The inventor of the technology developed by Test1,’ he recalls, ‘was Giuseppe Peroni, who worked at the Montedison chemical industry in Venice in the 1970s. The city’s mayor asked the company to develop a material to recover oil spilled in the canals, and it was Peroni who created the first prototype of T1’s sponge. However, this product was never patented.”

Alessandro Taini – CEO Test1

The problem of water pollution has certainly not diminished in importance in the meantime, on the contrary: ‘In 2010,’ he continues, ‘one of the most serious environmental disasters in history occurred: the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, which caused a spillage of some 500 million litres of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. British Petroleum spent around $40 billion to clean up the area, only managing to recover 20 per cent of the spilled oil. This event highlighted the need for a more effective solution to deal with oil spills’.

The technology developed by Test1 aims precisely at solving this problem: “Our FoamFlex product has been officially tested and is able to absorb up to 60 per cent of the spilled oil, resulting in significant cost savings of up to 93 per cent compared to current technologies. This allows us to provide a more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for oil recovery.”

The product is therefore in many respects an exemplary ‘egg of Columbus’ capable of containing and managing a structural and critical problem. The 1.7-million-euro round will initially be used to market the product and to develop an effective corporate communication strategy. Subsequently, the funds will be used for technological development, creating a series of automated engineered systems that will allow for scalable expansion suitable for different business targets.

The experience ‘in the field’ is definitely positive, as shown by what happened in the United States: ‘In 2018, we were accepted into the Oil and Gas Technology Center (OGTC) grant accelerator, financed mainly by British Petroleum. Subsequently, we had the opportunity to test our technology at the Ohmsett (Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility), a facility controlled by the BSEE (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) and coordinated by the DOI (Department of the Interior). During the tests, Test1’ product was recognised as the best performing compared to its competitors.”

The CEO emphasises how these practical tests have demonstrated the effectiveness of Test1’ technology and how the engineering of the product has been well received by the managers: “This evidence has motivated us to continue in the same direction. The main difference between Test1’ product and those of its competitors,’ he concludes, ‘is that the latter absorb significant amounts of water, generating additional costs, whereas our product is more efficient and sustainable.”