Water efficiency start-up makes a splash with global industry award

Water efficiency start-up makes a splash with global industry award

AN IRISH start-up specializing in water efficiency technology has scooped an industry award from a San Francisco-based accelerator organisation.

The water entrepreneurs behind the Co. Westmeath-based OxyMem firm were announced as the growth stage category winner of the 2015 Infrastructure Challenge run by the US-based Imagine H20 not for profit organisation this week.

The firm, which is a client of Enterprise Ireland, has developed an energy intensive wastewater treatment using smart aeration techniques which has been hailed as “breakthrough technology” solving the industry’s “energy cost issues”.

“This year's program saw the largest and strongest pool of applicants in Imagine H2O's history. We proudly welcome OxyMem to our growing portfolio of top water entrepreneurs,” said Imagine H2O’s COO, Scott Bryan.

OxyMem was selected as the winner from a pool of 100 water start-ups and entrepreneurs, from more than 20 countries, taking part in Imagine H20’s annual Accelerator Programme.

Upon receiving the award OxyMem Managing Director Wayne Byrne said: “This accolade gives us incredible traction in the US, and global markets, with end users, partners and venture capital because of its strong track record.  We are honoured to have been selected as the overall winner of such a strong cohort of finalists.”

He added: “OxyMem have had this major platform opportunity in our sights for some time now. ImageH2O’s not for profit approach to tackling some of the most significant challenges facing the world today means they have a laser focused ability to identify the most likely to succeed in addressing these challenges.”

While conventional wastewater treatment consumes 2-3% of a nation’s electricity production, due to a 100 years reliance on bubble diffusion for conventional treatment plants, which consequently suffer high energy losses, OxyMem, which was founded two years ago, has no such limitations.

An OxyMem spokesperson explained: “For 100 years the cornerstone of global wastewater treatment has been ‘Forced’ or ‘Bubble’ aeration. Our solution does not rely on this highly inefficient method, instead we use gas permeable membranes capable of delivering Oxygen directly to the bacteria, resulting in a fourfold energy saving with more compact, lower cost infrastructure.”