I edit magazines for both the industrial and municipal water markets. A complaint I hear often on the municipal side is the slow pace of innovation in the water industry and the long and difficult path companies with new technologies must take to be accepted by the very conservative water market. Things appear to move faster on the industrial side of the business, but introducing a new treatment technology can still be a challenge.
The Artemis Project™, a non-profit group dedicated to helping water technology companies emerge in the world market, recently announced its Top 50 water tech company list for 2012. The list identifies the most promising companies that are applying innovation in the market to address today's water challenges.
It was an interesting list with a lot of new names and new technologies. Here's a small sampling:
New Sky Energy (www.newskyenergy.com) was listed as a "Top 5" company and also made the Most Promising Technologies list. The company has developed a system to create marketable products out of industrial and agricultural wastewater. As an example, it can create salts from industrial or agricultural wastewater and CO2 from flue gas. Other output chemicals, dependant on the incoming stream, include carbonates such as soda ash and limestone; acids like sulfuric or hydrochloric acid; bases such as sodium hydroxide; and gases like hydrogen and oxygen.
NanoH2O (www.nanoh2o.com) was also named a Top 5 company and an early market leader for its reverse osmosis membrane systems based on nanostructured materials and polymer technology. The company's thin-film nanocomposite membranes are said to dramatically improve desalination energy efficiency and productivity, providing higher flux and salt rejection rates than more traditional membrane systems.
212 Resources (www.212resources.com) was also listed as an early market leader, thanks to its mechanical vapor recompression process for use in treating water used in unconventional oil and gas production. The process produces two effluent streams: consistent quality water and highly concentrated brine. The brine is near saturation levels, which is said to reduce disposal volumes and maximizes the volume of clean water. The modular systems are designed to be located in close proximity to actual drilling and completion activities.
Marrone Bio Innovations (http://marronebioinnovations.com) made the early market leader list. Its Zequanox is a biopesticide for controlling invasive zebra and quagga mussels, which are crippling industrial and commercial operations by restricting water flow in heat exchangers, condensers, fire suppression systems, cooling water systems and more. The product is said to have an 80 percent efficacy in controlling adult mussels and 90 percent in juveniles.
And finally, a company I've written about before, Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies made the list once again. It's process treats the nutrient rich liquid that results when biosolids are dewatered. A reactor processes the biosolids liquids to recover phosphorus and other nutrients - and then converts them into a fertilizer with a commercially desirable balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium.
To see a complete list of the Top 50 water tech companies for 2012, and learn more about the Artemis Project, visit http://theartemisproject.com.