Water is the elixir of life, but it is becoming a challenge to access clean water for millions of people across the world. Understanding the necessity for clean water and taking a step to resolve the challenges in accessing clean water, several startups have entered the water industry and are aiming to make money by purifying wastewater.
Europe has clear areas of competences in wastewater innovations. There is no shortage of capital in this industry and the landscape of these startups is gradually expanding. There are several successful companies that have proven that wastewater treatment can be approached in an innovative way to make it beneficial to all.
Having said that wastewater treatment is a major way to resolve the challenges in providing access to clean water, here we list some European startups that have been successful in this industry.
Industrial Phycology (UK)
Managing Director: Daniel Murray
Total Funding: €2.4 million
Founded year: 2013
What it does: Industrial Phycology aka I-Phyc has developed an eco-friendly wastewater treatment system to reduce pollution in water bodies. This system uses the natural power of algae to remove nutrients from wastewater and sewage. It can reduce pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorous and also generate biogas or fertiliser from the recovered biomass. With this system, I-Phyc helps operators minimise their carbon footprint as the algae not only captures but also retains carbon emissions.
Founders: Alexei Levene, William Janssen
Total Funding: €50k
Founded year: 2014
What it does: Desolenator develops tech products that harness sunshine and seawater to produce high-quality drinking water. The concept designed by Desolenator is the most cost-effective and sustainable solution in areas of complex water types, high solar irradiation, and high-cost of water provisioning. The company aims to resolve one of the major global challenges by providing access to clean water. It uses the world’s first solar-thermal desalination technology in a modular way.
The Great Bubble Barrier (Amsterdam)
Founders: Francis Zoet, Saskia Studer, Anne Marieke Eveleens
Total Funding: €550k
Founded year: 2015
What it does: The Great Bubble Barrier is a women-led startup that aims to remove hundreds and thousands of tonnes of plastics from the rivers across the world. This company creates a bubble screen by pumping air via a tube with holes in it, which is at the bottom of the waterway. It creates an upward thrust that brings waste to the water’s surface. It lets ships and fishes pass the Bubble Barrier and stops only plastic.
Founders: Michael Hank
Founded year: 2004
What it does: Seccua is a global leader in the field of standardised ultra-filtration systems for purifying drinking water. The company has enough expertise to handle all the needs of clean drinking water in the long run. It has already completed over 1,500 projects across the world. In 2012, Seccua teamed up with Portuguese companies to build drinking water treatment plants in Africa. With this, the company received the German CleanTech Media Award in 2012.
Founders: Eoin Casey, Eoin Syron, Wayne Byrne
Total Funding: €1 million
Founded year: 2013
What it does: OxyMem resolves energy-intensive wastewater treatment solutions with its innovative solution for wastewater aeration. OxyMem’s MABR (Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor) complements existing water treatment systems and delivers up to 50% additional biological capacity in the aeration systems. This company uses hollow fibre gas permeable membranes to support a fixed film ecosystem, which enables direct delivery of oxygen to the micro-organisms. This results in 95% oxygen transfer rates that result in superior energy performance.
Founders: Moritz Waldstein, Faebian Bastiman
Funding: €10 million
Founded year: 2015
Why its hot: Mitte intends to make the quality of water better. This German startup provides safe and healthy water to its users and revolutionises the way people drink water at home. This is possible with Mitte’s smart home water system, which is touted to confirm any water into healthy and clean water that is on par with mineral water. With Mitte, it is possible to create your own mineralised water, which is 60x cleaner than filtered water at your home.
Field Factors (Netherlands)
CEO: Karina Peña
Founded year: 2016
What it does: Delft-based Field Factors is a supplier of water technology solutions. It operates with the vision to restore the natural water cycle. The company has developed the first generation modular system, Bluebloq, which purifies rainwater for reuse instead of flushing the same via the sewer. It is termed a circular system for rainwater management. This is the best solution for cities that suffer from heavy rainfall and need extra water during dry seasons.
Stock photo from Avatar_023/Shutterstock
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news.