Orono startup Cerahelix said it has raised at least $250,000 in seed financing, allowing it to apply for 50 percent matching funds from the National Science Foundation.

Cerahelix is using nanotechnology to create a new class of filtration products. The proceeds from both the investment round and matching grant are intended to support the company’s efforts in pilot testing its technology at potential customer sites.

The studies will be used to determine the product’s effectiveness at helping the growing biorefinery industry reduce costs and save energy while producing various value-added products from wood and other waste products.

The seed money which is being raised will let the company accelerate its commercial efforts and more fully protect its intellectual property rights.