“Thank God,” wrote Henry David Thoreau, “men cannot fly and lay waste the sky as well as the Earth.”
Thoreau did not live to see how effective man would become at both, but for each environmental loss or corruption, a new technology is developed in counteraction that lends hope to man’s ability for sustainable life on Earth.
Three cases in point were highlighted as winners of a recent competition called Pow! emPowering Opportunities in Water.
The competition, led by French transnational water, waste and energy firm Veolia, the Water Council, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, honored three companies that advance the principles of sustainability and efficiency within the water industry.
“The driving force behind Pow! is to connect the entrepreneurial ecosystem with the needs of society, the environment and our clients,” explained Philip Abraham, senior vice president of Veolia’s global research and innovation. “By providing access to markets, pilot sites, research and innovation, technical partners and professionals who can bolster the winners’ ideas and experiences, ‘Pow!’ is a new way that Veolia and partner organizations can contribute to global improvements in how we manage water.”
The three companies are:
Nano Gas Technologies uses Nano-scale oxygen bubbles to recover gas and water from fluid sent to disposal wells after being treated at oil fields. Every 167 barrels of water processed using the technology yields an additional barrel of oil that would otherwise be wasted, according to the company.
This company was recognized for a process that recovers 90 percent of the soluble phosphorus released during water processing and combines those phosphates with calcium to create a valuable mineral called brushite that can be sold to offset facility costs.
WAVVE Stream was awarded for the company’s use of a biodegradable gel that can be integrated into existing filtration systems to help remove heavy metals and nutrients.
Each award winner received a $40,000 cash prize, $10,000 in tuition credit to a Wisconsin-based business accelerator run by the Water Council called BREW (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin.), 12 months of free office space at Veolia suite at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, access to the Global Water Center’s Flow Lab, access to faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School for Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Marquette University, and business model and operations training through the Water Council.