Ceramic Membranes

It has been a bit quiet on my blog for a while, because I have been busy preparing for my final exam which took place in the middle of January.  Now I have officially graduated as a Global Business Engineer and I am therefore looking for a job – which also takes a considerable amount of time.

The last few months I have been working on my final project with CoMeTas A/S, and I would therefore like to elaborate on this company.

CoMeTas A/S was established in 2006 and has since experienced significant growth with its products based on silicon carbide coatings on emission catalysts and membranes.

I focused on CoMeTas’ membranes for pre-treatment purposes in my project and what I found was that even though ceramic membranes are more expensive than hollow fibre membranes and media filters they are a sound alternative to these due to the following reasons:

– very high flux

– smaller foot print

– longer life time

– reduced OPEX

The challenge for CoMeTas and other companies which produce ceramic membranes is to point out the before mentioned advantages. Ceramic membranes are much more expensive than polymer based membranes, but by looking at the total costs of ownership, ceramic membranes can for some applications be cost competitive in the long run taken their longer life time etc. into account.

The application of membranes in various industries is experiencing a growth rate of about 6.5 per cent annually according to Lux Research.  With the right effort, CoMeTas could capture a piece of this growing market.

Picture taken from: http://cometas.dk/products/ceramic-membranes


January 25, 2011 at 11:46 am Leave a comment

Floating tiles for reduction of evaporation

Evaporation and emission from different kinds of liquids can be a problematic issue such as in the case of slurry tanks. The Danish company Hexa-Cover has developed a floating tile which can be used to cover different liquid surfaces. The tile is designed in such as way that it automatically locks into other tiles. The picture below shows how the tiles lock and by adding a big amount of tiles it is possible to cover large surfaces. I think that it is an amazing product, because in many ways it is very simple, but at the same time innovative and effective. Hexa-Cover’s website shows many references so it is also a product which has achieved success on the market.

Picture from http://www.hexa-cover.com

December 28, 2010 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Fuel cells – new sources of energy

Today, I will write a short post about fuel cells, and introduce some of the Danish as well as foreign companies, who develop and market this kind of technology.

First of all, what is a fuel cell? According to Wikipedia, a fuel cell is a “an electrochemical cell that converts a source fuel into an electric current”. As an example, a battery is a electrochemical cell. However, the difference between “normal” batteries and fuel cells are that batteries store electrical energy chemically, whereas fuel cells must be added fuel from an external source in order to produce electricity. Fuel cells can run on for example hydrogen, butane or methanol.

So, fuel cells can be used as power units and according to Invest in Denmark, Denmark is a world leader in fuel cell technology. By searching google, I have found Danish fuel cell companies such as Topsoe Fuel Cell, IRD and Serenergy.

Well, this blog is most about water technologies and therefore the Israeli company Emefcy is very relevant in this post. Emefcy develops microbial fuel cells, and in short these can be used to produce electricity from waste water.

Therefore, based on Emefcy’s product, waste water could most likely develop into a source of energy and consequently a product of value.

Below is an illustration of the Emefcy microbial fuel cell:

Picture from http://www.emefcy.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=25

December 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

Green Sahara?

Popular Science just published Best of What’s New 2010 and the Innovation of the Year award went to the Dutch company Aquapro and its product Groasis. Groasis is a water box which help trees and plants grow in difficult environments such as deserts. So, will Sahara become lush and green in the future?

Follow the link below to learn more and see a very well prepared infographic about the product.

Groasis infographic (How the Groasis Waterboxx functions)

Picture from http://www.groasis.com/page/uk/index.php

December 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment


Today, I have chosen to look at the Danish company AqSep, which in cooperation with Danfoss has developed a small desalination unit. The so-called WaterCube2 can produce 4800 litres of desalted water per day, at a cost of 1-1.5 Euro per cubic meter. Of course, the price highly depends on electricity costs and feed water quality. However, compared to a large state-of-the-art desalination plant such as the one in Ashkelon, Israel, which produces water for as low as 0.50 Euro per cubic meter; I think it is an impressive price. Moreover, it is also quite impressive that you can buy a desalination unit not much larger than a dishwasher, which can deliver enough water for a small hotel or around 36 people a day (based on Danish household water use of 131 l/capita/day). The WaterCube2 comes in two models, one with energy recovery device and one without. I don’t know the price of the WaterCube2, but another AqSep product, which is very similar to the WaterCube2 and also is based on the WaterCube2 technology, costs around 10,000 Euro.

The WaterCube2 – picture taken from http://www.aqsep.dk

December 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm Leave a comment

Wind desalination

I have decided to focus on environmental technologies (cleantech) from Denmark  in this and the next posts.  When it comes to Danish cleantech, Vestas is the first company that comes into mind. However, there are many more companies who develop and market anything from fuel cells, membranes, solar cells and smart grid solutions, just to mention a few! Therefore, I thought it might be interesting to spread the word about Danish cleantech and at the same time widen my knowledge about the subject.

The first company I would like to present is actually the reason for writing this post. I came across the company while reading water related news at WorkingWithWater. They wrote about the Australian company Windesal which had acquired Danvest Energy A/S. So, even though Danvest isn’t a Danish owned company any more, the technology was developed in Denmark.

The product is a wind turbine powered desalination solution. It uses a standard wind turbine that produces electricity for the desalination process which is based on RO membranes or distillation. In addition, back-up power solutions vary from diesel generators to power generators running on renewable fuels. Altogether, Windesal offers a desalination solution with several options of power sources.

According to Windesal, they are currently carrying out feasibility studies in Australia and expect to build the first plant in 2011. It will be interesting to follow how Danish technology is used as far away as Australia to produce desalinated water.

Image from http://www.windesal.com/images/side-image.jpg

November 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Portable filters – straws and bottles

This post will look at a few of the many portable water filtration products that are on the market. They can be used by hikers who need bacteria free water or by people in developing countries who do not have access to clean water due to for example natural disasters.

The company Vestergaard Frandsen markets the Lifestraw which in fact is a straw you can drink through! The water is filtered as you use it.  According to Sciencebuzz the price is around US$3 for a lifestraw. The lifestraw can not filter heavy metals or the salt from sea water, but removes bacteria and viruses.

I have found many other companies who have similar products on the market. However, the design and method of filtration varies. The so-called SteriPEN from Hydro-Photon, Inc. uses UV light to eliminate bacteria and viruses. Another product called The Lifesaver Bottle uses a method similar to lifestraw which is a ultra/micro filtration membrane and activated carbon. The advantage of The Lifesaver Bottle is that you can carry around 750 ml with you. Very similar to the lifestraw is the Aquasafestraw from SureAquaCorp.

These products are not based on new technology, but on already existing technologies, which are used today in desalination plants and water treatment plants. However, the combination of “old” technology, water purification process knowledge and everyday products such as a straw or water bottle have created these innovative products.

The Lifesaver Bottle from LIFESAVER Systems:

The Lifestraw from Vestergaard Frandsen:

November 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

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