The BioSolve® Story
The BioSolve® story starts in 1975 when an entrepreneur named Ron LaRoche and a talented chemist named Ed Hosmer began working together to develop an innovative surfactant formulation. The product concept was a replacement for sprayed foam used to suppress volatile vapors and reduce fire hazard associated with fuel spills. Customers needed an effective alternative to foam that was at least as effective and much easier to use.
During the 1970’s and 80’s, formulations were tested and retested in cooperation with local fire departments and firefighting training academies in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Canada. Field testing was carried using numerous formulations in an effort to develop a single product that could be used to mitigate a wide range of fuels, including those with additives. Ron’s chemical distribution company, Metra Chem began selling BioSolve to fire departments and emergency responders from the late 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s.
Once the formulation was finalized (early 1980’s), customers and distributors gradually discovered BioSolve to be remarkably effective not only in suppressing hazardous vapors from hydrocarbon spills, but also in a diverse range of applications that called for encapsulation and mobilization of hydrocarbon molecules. Whereas Ron initially sold exclusively to fire departments across the US, his distributors soon found customers in oil production, petroleum refining, environmental remediation, and food industries. In 1989, Ron closed Metra Chem and founded the Westford Chemical Corporation to focus exclusively on commercializing BioSolve. For the next twenty years, Ron - joined for twelve years by his son Steve - developed BioSolve customers in a wide range of industries, across the US and in over a dozen foreign countries.
In the fall of 2009, Ron & Steve were approached by James Edgerly and Karl Loos regarding the sale of the BioSolve business. The two had worked together during the 1980’s in the Chemical Industries practice at the management consulting firm, Arthur D. Little, Inc (Cambridge, MA).
After strenuous and protracted negotiations, the sale of the BioSolve business was consummated in June of 2010. Sale of the BioSolve business allowed Ron to enjoy a brief retirement with his wife Sueyo and their beloved dog, Mark. The new owners established “The BioSolve Company” and set up offices in Lexington, Massachusetts. Manufacturing operations remain unchanged.
Ron LaRoche passed away in early April, 2012.