Today, Israeli water tech company AqWise, which uses a bio-based film to treat waste water, announced it has closed a $3.6 million round of financing. Israel’s venerable and growing water technology sector keeps offering more solutions for purification and treatment. The current round of financing came from existing investors, including AHMSA Steel Israel Ltd, Elron Electronic Industries and Israel Cleantech Ventures.
AqWise’s system is novel because it employs biological-based water treatment solutions that work in conjunction with traditional waste water systems, which use filtering and skimming systems, as well as chemicals like chlorine, to treat water. The setup, called the Attached Growth Airlift Reactor, circulates plastic biofilm-covered carriers, which look a bit like giant hair curlers, through waste water. The plant matter growing on the carriers’ large surface area pulls organic nutrients, especially carbon and nitrates, out of the waste without the use of filters or chemicals.
The system is cost effective because it can be deployed in an existing waste treatment plant, boosting treatment capacity without expanding or building new facilities, AqWise says. The company markets its systems for industrial applications, such as paper and pulp or textile plants, municipal waste treatment and aquaculture, or fish farm sanitation.
Using biology — including micro-organisms — to clean up water (and remediate other environmental systems) is a growing trend. From controversial ocean seeding to biofuel genomics, biotech and cleantech will continue to converge.
In addition to its HQ in Israel, AqWise has offices in Mexico; its technology is employed in facilities in Spain, Italy and Chile, as well. This funding bodes well for Israel’s goal of boosting its water tech exports to $2 billion by 2010.