The Smart Filter project received new Innovate UK funding that follows a previous £700,000 project grant awarded in 2015. The previous grant enabled a two-year project by G2O and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), focused on transferring and scaling up the water filtration technology from laboratory to industry, ensuring the technology is usable with full quality control.
The technology has since been validated at CPI and the new grant will focus on transferring it to large-scale manufacturing. That will include the use of industrial printing technology to manufacture membranes and validate their performance using prototypes and will involve collaboration with a number of UK partner organizations including chemicals manufacturer William Blythe and CPI.
G2O Water Technologies is leading the project to accelerate development of its patented system that has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of water filtration. The ultimate aim of the project is to develop domestic water purification systems that will deliver cheaper and more widely-available drinking water to millions of people around the world.
The company has reportedly also secured an agreement with a major global consumer products company to test and evaluate the new technology in existing domestic water purification operations in the developing world.
G2O’s technology works by creating low-cost printed graphene filters or by applying a graphene coating to existing membranes used in water filtration processes. This technique reduces the amount of energy needed to filter the water passing through the membrane by up to 50%, increasing throughput of purified water while fighting contamination and lowering the overall cost involved.
This new technology allows more water to pass through a membrane, therefore removing the need for and expense of power generation to run pumps and controls in existing, complex domestic water purification systems of water production.
Innovate UK’s independent assessors’ report summarized the impact of G2O’s technology as something that would “help millions of people dependent on clean water…an essential new technology capable of providing contaminant-free water in a cost-effective way for people in the developing world”. The report also highlighted the “strong market opportunity” in G2O’s technology, its experienced team, consortium and well-planned strategies to market the technology. The report noted: “it would be difficult to find a better team for this important project.”