On the bubble Featured

8:00pm EDT August 29, 2002
Bursting bubbles are good things for Cleveland-based Five Star Technologies.

The company has developed a technology in which the energy release of a bursting bubble is controlled and manipulated to create a variety of effects.

"We can apply the technology with chemistry and other process knowledge to improve products and create new ones," says Jim Mazzella, president and CEO. "Those products can be in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, the creation of catalysts and food science."

Using Five Star's process, known as Controlled Flow Cavitation, a pharmaceutical company might be able to take a drug that previously could only be taken in pill form and alter it so it could be inhaled or injected.

CFC creates a cold boiling effect and harnesses the energy released from the bursting vapor bubbles to achieve chemical changes. These changes might be the encapsulation of particles in another chemical or regulation of the size of the particles themselves.

"In food flavorings, in the end it's all about textures in your mouth and the intensity of the flavorings," says Mazzella. "Our ability is to manipulate the particles or how they are released."

A food manufacturer might be able to use CFC to control the release of flavoring in a product so the taste lasts longer or reduce the particle or droplet size to enhance the flavor or texture.

One of the strengths of the technology is that it can be applied to a wide variety of industries and processes, giving Five Star Technologies a large potential customer base. After it develops a solution for a particular client, the end result is either a material supply arrangement or the licensing of a turnkey process package.

"We are approaching the market as an advanced materials and process company that is built around our core technology," says Mazzella. "We look for customers who have a particular problem or who are trying to improve the features of a product, then explain how our technology could enhance the product or the performance of the product.

"When we started, we identified over 20 different application areas. We've just tapped into a handful of those. Some of our research is in the area of water treatment applications, where we've just scratched the surface."

The company is also involved in the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition and is looking at polymer applications.

"We are looking to be a part of the resurgence of the development of new technologies in this area and new technology businesses in general," says Mazzella. How to reach: (440) 239-7005