Aqua Membranes, the developer of a patented 3D Printed Spacer Technology for water filtration, recently announced it has secured a new round of additional financing to apply its products to the semiconductor market. The deal is co-led by Micron, a world leader in innovative memory and storage solutions, and Clean Energy Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage climate tech.
“Reducing the amount of energy we use to purify water and improving our ability to efficiently recycle that water after use is one of Micron’s top environmental priorities,” said Andrew Byrnes, director of Venture Capital at Micron. “Aqua Membranes’ high-efficiency filtration solution will play a critical role in our future water sustainability efforts, and we are investing to help ensure their overall success to accelerate expansion into the semiconductor and ultrapure water market.”
Water conservation is one of the key pillars of Micron’s sustainability goals to improve the environmental impact of its global operations and advance innovation, people, communities and manufacturing. Micron plans to invest approximately $1 billion over the next five to seven years to support its sustainability vision and mission.
Aqua Membranes’ patented 3D Printed Spacer Technology integrates into existing reverse osmosis (RO) systems to increase system capacity and reduce operating costs. By replacing existing feed mesh spacers with a customized 3D printed resin that adheres directly to the membrane surface, Printed Spacer Technology significantly reduces pressure drop and increases membrane surface area in spiral-wound elements. This improves filtration performance and dramatically reduces energy requirements in industrial processes like semiconductor manufacturing.
“Our technology provides an enormous opportunity to reduce energy requirements for even the highest-grade of purified water and we’re now seeing unprecedented demand from companies looking to proactively and meaningfully invest in their sustainability efforts,” said Craig Beckman, CEO of Aqua Membranes. “The semiconductor industry is a major consumer of purified water, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Micron to improve water sustainability everywhere.”
In addition to providing financing, Micron is partnering with Aqua Membranes to advance its technology for the semiconductor industry, to improve wastewater recycling and ultimately reduce energy usage in Micron’s UPW production processes. The initial partnership aims to improve the effectiveness of Micron’s wastewater recycling while simultaneously lowering energy use per gallon of recycled water.