MRO Magazine

A Tale of Two Stel(l)as

June 29, 2015
By Business Wire News


Eight years ago FRX Polymers was a fledgling start up with a dream. Their pilot plant installed in Chelmsford, instilled such a sense of pride and accomplishment among the team, they affectionately named the pilot unit Stella, after the popular Belgian beer. FRX Polymers’ pilot plant was instrumental in the development of a new kind of bromine-free polymeric flame retardant based on phosphorous. Known as Nofia, the flame retardant, now made in a full scale plant in Antwerp, Belgium, is commercially available for use in diverse industries like electronics and engineering, building and construction, furnishings and fibers including textiles. Nofia flame retardant, a modern success story, has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, awarded Frost and Sullivan’s Innovation of the Year award and has been recognized as one of the top 100 private clean technology companies worldwide, twice by the Global Cleantech Group In 2014, FRX also received a further distinction being placed in the top 3 out of this highly selective group of 100.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:

A continent away, Stela Akoth is a teenager growing up in Chemelil a town in a rural part of Kenya. Stela’s reality is worlds away from such things as polymeric manufacturing and flame retardants. However, fate has linked the two Stel(l)as in a most extraordinary way. Stela was tragically burned as a toddler and has struggled to overcome the impacts of a horrible accident that nearly consumed her life. One evening in July 2001 as she played with her older sister a kerosene lamp accidentally overturned exploding and catching Stela’s clothing on fire. Stela spent 7 months in the Jalaram Hospital in Kisumu, Kenya healing from the wounds that covered most of her torso. Because of the scarring to her skin, Stela cannot walk upright and her arms are barely strong enough to carry anything beyond her school bag. In the part of the world she lives in, Stela is a social outcast due to the stigma attached to disabilities. Supporting her in the face of these personal trials, Stela has a loving family and two close girlfriends who share her hope that one day she will be able to lead a normal life like any other girl her age and achieve her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.

When the FRX team, learned of Stela’s plight, they immediately offered to help by providing financial support for Stela who has been accepted for medical care at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston. Dr. Robert Sheridan, Chief of the Burn Surgery Service has agreed to be the lead surgeon for Stela as she undergoes reconstructive surgeries that will restore functionality to her upper body, allowing her greater range of motion and the ability to walk upright.

Further funding was needed for Stela and a guardian to travel from Kenya to Boston and to obtain temporary housing near the hospital in Massachusetts for six months while Stela receives specialized treatment for her burns. The Children’s Burn Foundation stepped in to help so Stela will receive the reconstructive surgery she needs.

Carol Horvitz, Children’s Burn Foundation Executive Director says, “It is our mission to help child burn survivors recover in every way possible. We will help Stela on her journey toward a full physical, emotional and social recovery.”

FRX employees are helping to raise funds for Stela and other children who are affected by fire. You can join in the effort by donating online ( and entering “Stela” in the comments section. View the FRX team’s video appeal here.

Marc Lebel, CEO of FRX Polymers says, “Knowing the tragic impact an accidental fire has had on Stela’s life brings the real life benefit that we, at FRX, have strived to achieve through the development of a non-toxic flame retardant for broad societal use.”

Individuals and organizations everywhere are encouraged to join in the effort and support the Children’s Burn Foundation to bring Stela from Chemelil to Boston so she can continue her personal journey toward a healthy future and fulfilling her dreams. Learn more about Stela’s story, as told by a TV station in Kenya, here:

For more information about this announcement, please contact J. Abra Degbor by calling 617.999.3783, or e-mail [abra] at [] OR

About FRX Polymers:

FRX Polymers, Inc. was founded in 2007 following over five years of intensive research and development in the field of halogen-free polymeric flame retardant blend components. The company operates a pilot plant in Chelmsford, MA and a full scale plant in Antwerp, Belgium. Having recently commissioned its commercial plant in Antwerp, FRX is in the high growth phase of its evolution. It is commercializing a novel family of halogen-free, transparent, high melt flowing, polymeric flame retardant polymers. FRX Polymers is headquartered in Chelmsford MA. For more information about its products, visit their website at

About Children’s Burn Foundation:

The Children’s Burn Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support services for child burn survivors, ages 0-18 and their families, as well as burn prevention and fire safety education to thousands of children and caregivers in Southern California, nationally, and internationally. Their mission is to prevent the pain and trauma of burn injuries to children, and to heal and give children who have suffered severe burns the opportunity to reach their full potential. They are set apart by their concern for the Full Recovery of a child burn survivor, addressing not only their physical needs, but their psychological, emotional, and social recovery as well. LLC for FRX Polymers Inc.
J. Abra Degbor, 617-999-3783
Children’s Burn Foundation, 818-907-2822