BOSTON, January 6, 2009 – The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to Reactive Innovations to develop an electrochemical ozone generator to treat water for drinking and industrial processing. In the US, 85% of all public water systems serve fewer than 3,300 people and, thus, are classified as small systems. For providing these small unit drinking water systems, three congressional findings highlight the challenges. First, the small communities typically have a low tax basis making affordability a challenge unless the system is low in cost. Secondly, the small communities typically do not have technical experts to manage the water disinfection system thus posing a challenge that the system must be simple to operate. Third, the popular chlorine based systems will be outlawed in 2015 for drinking water systems according to the EPA Stage 2 Safe Drinking Water Act. To this end, Reactive Innovations, LLC will be developing an electrochemical ozone generation system that produces ozone directly into a process flow stream using only the ambient air and DC electrical power. This process will be simple to operate without requiring routine operator intervention and be low in cost since few components are required due to the reactor design.
The broader impact of Reactive Innovations’ technology is a robust reactor platform that can be used for small and large scale water treatment processing. The US drinking water equipment market was $115M in 2005 growing at a compound annual rate of 5%. This industry is considered to be in the growth stage of its life cycle with the main competitors being chlorine and UV disinfection. Price sensitivity is high and thus justifies Reactive Innovations’ approach of minimizing the ozone generator cost via an electrochemical method over the standard electrical discharge method. The ozone generator may also be applied to the wastewater industry that is a $600M market for 2008 growing annually at 7.2%. In addition to producing ozone for water and wastewater disinfection, Reactive Innovations’ electrochemical ozone generator may also be applied toward purifying water systems for semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and pulp/paper processing. These applications represent a worldwide water treatment market projected to be worth $11B by the year 2015.