Image via ImagineH2O
The Imagine H2O contest has announced finalists for this year's competition. These ten start-ups are competing for a $100,000 prize plus business and legal support to help get their idea off the ground and into the marketplace. The finalists focus on everything from water purification to generating energy from water. But the issues these start-ups focus on --often overlooked in other cleantech competitions -- shine a light on the future of water. The finalists are:
Agua Via develops a 1-atomic layer thick nanotech membrane that enables desalination at a 66% energy reduction and 50% cost reduction, providing energy efficient purification and wastewater remediation.
BlackGold Biofuels recovers energy from wastewater streams, creating lucrative renewable energy assets from pollution liabilities.
FogBusters treats petroleum, biofuel and food processing wastewater "better, faster, cheaper, cleaner and greener" while capturing the FOG (fat, oil and grease) to make into biodiesel.
Hydrovolts makes portable floating turbines that make renewable energy and clean water from an untapped global resource of hydrokinetic energy in water canals.
mOasis harnesses water on any land in the world so that plants grow and the planet can restore its ability to sustain life.
NLine Energy, Inc. converts wasted energy found in water transmission and distribution systems into renewable energy.
Pilus Energy harnesses genetically enhanced bacteria in scalable electrogenic bioreactor and harvests the electricity and biogases from their metabolism of organics like those found in wastewater.
Puralytics solves critical water contamination problems with environmentally superior products.
Solar Machines' non-PV based technology directly and efficiently converts solar energy into mechanical work for water pumping applications.
Water Resources Management Co helps water utilities realize the full benefits of their investments in advanced meter reading, system control and asset management.
Creating fresh water, cleaning water supplies, monitoring water use, and capturing the energy potential of water -- these are the major issues of focus for the competitors, as well as for technology in the water industry. It's these areas that are most important as well as potentially most lucrative. However, most investors are just barely starting to see the potential this area holds. For example:
"The water-energy nexus is of enormous technical and social importance because you can't generate energy without water and you can't supply clean water without energy," says Peter Williams, Chief Technology Officer at IBM's Big Green Innovations and a judge for this year's prize, in a press release from Imagine H2O. "The opportunity for technologies to enhance our management of the water-energy nexus are huge and not always fully appreciated, despite the importance of the subject. This year's prize addresses this directly."
The Imagine H2O competition is doing incredible work to get the new innovations and solutions in front of the venture capitalists that can turn an idea into reality. These ten finalists have all earned an amazing opportunity, and we're excited to see where the recognition takes them, since it will probably mean reliable supplies clean water for all of us in the future.
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