Technology Merit: Water


Cambrian Innovation (Boston, MA) for the development and commercialization of the EcoVolt wastewater treatment system. In 2014, Cambrian Innovation became what it believes to be the first company in history to successfully commercialize a bioelectric wastewater technology, one that could dramatically expand access to sustainable clean water. EcoVolt is a modular wastewater treatment system deployed on site at food and beverage production facilities and applying advanced biotechnology to treat wastewater and generate clean energy. In 2014, Cambrian installed an EcoVolt system at a Bear Republic Brewing Co. facility, saving the brewery $200,000 annually by offsetting up to 50% of the site's base-load electricity needs with clean energy. Cambrian also expanded its EcoVolt deployment with Lagunitas Brewing Co. after the initial installation exceeded performance expectations. EcoVolt saves Lagunitas the cost of transporting more than 189 cubic meters per day of wastewater to a municipal utility for treatment, eliminating 3,000 truck trips and saving $1.5 million annually. The return on investment on an EcoVolt system can be as short as two years, according to the company.

OriginOil (Los Angeles, CA) for its development and deployment of technology that can help companies engaged in the production of oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," conserve water resources. A prime target for water conservation measures is fracking operations, in which an average of eight barrels of contaminated water are generated for every barrel of oil produced in the United States. OriginOil's Electro Water Separation (EWS) technology cost-effectively removes 99% of oils, suspended solids, insoluble organics, and bacteria from produced water and frack flowback. This closed-loop EWS process enables on-site recycling, thereby significantly reducing the amount of fresh water extracted from the watershed and mitigating the need for trucking and disposal. EWS can also be paired with downstream polishing technologies as part of a comprehensive industrial water system for even greater impact. In 2014, OriginOil saw its first commercial sale when Synergy Resources purchased four EWS systems to treat produced water and oily wastes at operations in Trinidad & Tobago. More recently, Gulf Energy selected EWS to power its water treatment operations in the Middle East and North Africa.