Water innovation ‘fantasy league’

An event with a strong track record for selecting technologies that go on to succeed in the water arena, BlueTech Forum (Vancouver, 7-8 June) has selected its first tranche of “innovation showcase” companies.

The 2022 showcase companies are identified as having developed “ground-breaking solutions in areas such as stormwater management, water reuse, sanitation, smart water and circular economy, all aligning with the BlueTech Forum 2022 theme – radical collaboration for regeneration”.

BlueTech Research founder and chief executive Paul O’Callaghan said: “Our analyst team and technology assessment group have spent the last 12 months scanning the water technology space to identify the new solutions they believe will have the most impact on the sector. They have created a dream lineup of innovations to be showcased at BlueTech Forum 2022.

The firms identified so far are as follows:
3Rwater (US) (category: stormwater management): 3Rwater’s Follow the Drop mobile application and platform collects stormwater metrics, including rainfall data and the location of drainage devices, and uses advanced analytics to calculate drainage area and quantify stormwater runoff. The technology can help municipalities and property owners plan and track green stormwater infrastructure. Municipalities can also use the platform as a community engagement tool to inform property owners as to where a project can be implemented. Hawaii-based 3Rwater was named Top Innovation Pavilion Company at WEFTEC 2021.
Evove (UK) (category: water reuse): Formerly G2O Technologies, the firm offers both graphene-oxide (GO) coatings and 3d-printed membranes and spacers to boost the performance of conventional commercial membranes. Its 3d printing expertise can deliver customised membranes with uniform pore size and distribution on demand and at customer’s site. .
Nuvoda (US) (category: circular economy): Nuvoda’s Mobile Organic Biofilm (MOB) technology operates as a hybrid of an attached biofilm and aerobic granular sludge process, enabling the simultaneous removal of nitrogen and phosphorous. The technology improves settleability and increases treatment capacity by reducing hydraulic retention times and lowering oxygen demand. Using all-natural cellulosic plant material as media, Nuvoda MOB challenges Nereda in the granular sludge market and targets wastewater treatment plant retrofit projects.
NX Filtration (Netherlands) (category: water reuse/brine management): Described as “the leading hollow fibre nanofiltration membrane provider,” its technology, direct nanofiltration (dNF) is primed for water reuse and brine treatment. “The year 2021 was extraordinary for NX filtration as the company successfully launched its initial public offering (IPO) and installed three times more pilot systems than in 2020.” NX is also partnering with one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies to further its research and development activity.
Phyn (US) (category: smart water): Developed by machine-learning researchers at the University of Washington and Belkin International, Phyn uses high-definition ultrasonic sensors to sample the pressure in a plumbing system 240 times every second. Collecting data from a single point, Phyn detects the amount of water flowing into different pipes and provides analytics to the customer through a mobile app. Phyn also alerts users when it suspects leaks and frozen pipes, and enables remote or automatic valve shut-off. “First-hand user experience from members of the BlueTech team rates the technology as highly promising.”
SEMiLLA IPStar (Netherlands) (category: sanitation): SEMiLLA IPStar is the technology transfer member of MELiSSA (Micro Ecological Life Support System Alternative) Space Research Program. Targeting remote places and disaster areas, the SEMiLLA Sanitation system “takes advanced space technology and offers cost-efficient solutions, with no – or minimal – environmental impact, to process human waste and produce water and essential nutrients”.
Tomorrow Water (US) (category: circular economy): Tomorrow Water’s space-saving Proteus technology increases the tolerance of wastewater treatment plants to peak flow events caused by rainstorms; safeguarding performance in ageing sewer systems facing climate-related erratic weather patterns. It can simultaneously remove suspended solids and digest organic contaminants without the use of chemicals. An independent expert report led by Dr Glen Daigger confirms Proteus technology for wet weather treatment. Proteus has been selected by the Water Council for demonstration at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.
Pani Energy (Canada) (category: digital): Pani provides a software platform that can optimise the performance of wastewater treatment plant equipment. Operational data is gathered and processed by cloud computing and subjected to machine-learning, to produce analytical models which simulate treatment performance under different scenarios. Information is relayed to operators via a series of recommendations on various aspects of a plant’s functionality. Founded in 2017, Pani Energy has been selected for the Global Cleantech 100 list 2022.
Epic Cleantec (USA) (category: decentralised water reuse): The firm offers a circular and sustainable decentralised waste management solution for urban areas. The company provides customisable systems for on-site wastewater treatment, which separate wastewater into non-potable water and high-quality soil amendments; capture waste heat, and reduce utility costs for building owners. The systems are owned and operated by Epic Cleantec, to minimise the upfront cost to customers. The company’s unique value proposition and business model has allowed it to expand its partnerships and close its US$9.4 million funding round in recent months.
REDstack (Netherlands) (category: reverse electrodialysis): REDstack is developing reverse electrodialysis (RED) technology for power generation and electrodialysis (ED) technology for applications such as brackish water desalination, the reclamation of brine and cooling tower blowdown waters, as well as nutrient recovery.