NASHUA — UltraCell, a Manchester-based company that has developed a new type of cellulose insulation from reclaimed corrugated cardboard, took home first prize and a $50,000 cash award in this year’s Tech Out, an annual startup competition Thursday evening sponsored by the New Hampshire High Tech Council and abi Innovation Hub.
UltraCell Vice President Dan Thompson, who has decades of experience streamlining designs and production for industrial marine clients, including the U.S Navy, said the cold winter nights in his 200-year-old farm house were the inspiration behind the new line of green insulation.
Cellulose insulation made of plant fibers has been steadily gaining ground in the construction industry as a cheaper, healthier and more efficient alternative to traditional fiberglass.
But as Thompson explained, one of the main materials for cellulose insulation has been recycled newsprint.
“And as we all know, newspapers are dying out,” Thompson said.
But there’s plenty of cardboard in the waste stream, and UltraCell hopes to recycle it into insulation to keep homes and buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer. UltraCell’s ultimate goal is to make green insulation the standard in the construction industry.