Aspen-based company announces new biodegradable fire-resistant foam

The new biodegradable fire-resistant developed by AspenGlo and Multi-Inc. has been tested to protect homes in blazes up to 3,000 degrees.
Courtesy photo

In Colorado, we know all too well the devastating impacts of wildfires. The loss of community, loss of loved ones, loss of homes, and more brought on by fires is a traumatic experience far too many Coloradans, and many in the West, have went through in recent years.

While the United Nations Environment Programme predicts wildfires, among other natural disasters, will become more frequent and intense in the coming years, an Aspen-based company, AspenGlo, has helped develop a product they say with revolutionize wildfire mitigation and protection.  

AspenGlo, in partnership with Multi-Inc., developed a new biodegradable fire-resistant foam that recently received federal patenting. The foam is meant to be used as a protective measure, keeping homes and other structures safe from fire damage, according to a Kent Oliver, chief executive officer of AspenGlo.

The foam has been tested and is safe to use on homes, garages, decks, and other structures in danger of wildfire and structure fires, according to a press release from the company.

“Wildland fires aren’t going away, and if anything, they’re going to get worse,” said Oliver. “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., spearheaded the idea to create a more environmentally friendly fire-resistant foam. Before his product received federal patenting, Johnson had been working with a chemist for seven years to see his idea come to fruition.

Johnson is a Colorado native who “has declared that his home state of Colorado, with its determined perseverance toward fighting fires, is ‘ultimately the right place”‘to launch an announcement for this Biodegradable Fire-Resistant Foam,” according to the release.

Two years ago, AspenGlo took on 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 do initial tests on the Biodegradable Fire-Resistant Foam,” the company said in its release.

After numerous rounds of testing, the product has shown to protect structures from blazes up to 3,000 degrees.

Oliver, who helped lead the testing, is a red card certified wildland firefighter and in 2021 fought California’s Caldor Fire, which burned 221,835 acres across the northern Sierra Nevada.

“I saw 800 homes burn down because what the current fire wildland fire organizations use is a Class A foam, which doesn’t last very long,” said Oliver.

He said current foams “help in the short-term and minutes before a fire front engulfs structures.” However, the new foam can protect structures up to seven days, he said.

“I’ve had a lot of experience in wildland fire,” said Oliver. “I see it. I see the struggles with it. And manpower is always going to be your biggest issue in wildland fires.”

In addition, the newly developed foam uses more environmentally friendly ingredients and less water, said Oliver. However, the environmental impacts of the product are still being tested.

While the product has received federal patenting, they are still in the beginning phases of getting 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 this on,” said Oliver.