Building International Business Relationships during a Global Pandemic

AFFF System Cleanout

In 2012, TRS Group (TRS) began a search for European business partners to help with the expansion of our in situ thermal remediation services. Shortly thereafter, TRS and our partners formed the European Thermal Alliance, which included Cornelsen Umwelttechnologie GmbH (Cornelsen) implementing projects in Germany. Cornelsen provided field support for our recently completed project in Wiesbaden, Germany.

In the spring of 2018, Martin Cornelsen, Jurgen Buhl and Quentin Hume of Cornelsen expressed interest in TRS helping to bring the PerfluorAd® technology to North America. PerfluorAd is a plant-based material that binds to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water, forming an easily filtered particle. PerfluorAd is exceptionally effective in cleaning out AFFF fire suppression systems, routinely reducing PFAS concentrations by 99+%. Subsequently, Cornelsen has granted TRS the exclusive rights to provide the PerfluorAd® system for the treatment of PFAS-impacted fire suppression systems in North America.

The foundation of our relationship is based on honesty, trust, and a desire to provide an effective solution for PFAS treatment. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, TRS and Cornelsen met in person at least twice annually in the US and Germany. While now meeting virtually, our relationship continues to grow. Holding weekly Microsoft Teams conference calls, we discuss marketing and operational issues, ongoing projects, including four Department of Defense funded research projects, and upcoming opportunities. Further, we routinely host technical webinars and customer conference calls.

Like most, we are eager to join our colleagues at technical gatherings. Battelle and other conferences have accepted our abstracts for platform presentations.

While Covid-19 certainly presents significant challenges, nurturing business relationships is not only possible, but like-minded people can also make those relationships thrive.