Overview of AguaVia Technology

Biomimicry: modeling nature's solutions.

Living things (plants, animals and people) have special pores in their cell membranes called aquaporins (aqua means "water") and "porin," (meaning pore). These proteins are the way that nature channels water into and out of cells. The inspiration for Agua Via's membranes are nature's water pores.

Natural aquaporins are highly energy efficient ways of filtering water. By working with a more compact version of the natural pore (only one atomic layer thick) Agua Via's membrane were built to be even more energy efficient than the natural pores. This is intended to allow for a high volume flux of water at ultra=low energy.

Preventing fouling and scaling is another area where Agua Via's membranes took their clue from how nature keeps things clean.

Natural systems are often complex, and it takes extra time and work to mimic them instead. The tradeoff is, however, that the finished product is very effective, highly efficient and environmentally friendly.

Based on nanotechnology research work begun in 1997, a novel filtration technology has been developed which has the promise of broadly revolutionizing water purification, water remediation, and desalination costs, purity and delivery systems. This technology was designed from its inception to deal with the challenging environmental, performance and financial considerations of this field.

Agua Via's desalination and water purification, based on this Smart Membrane™ technology is anticipated to:

  • Deliver "full spectrum"™ filtration: filtering against the full spectrum of contaminants and delivering only pure water.
  • Operate under a virtually complete range of environmental conditions and handle a virtually complete range of feedstock water.
  • Operate at the lowest energy thermodynamically possible for purification - 1 psi. Systems can be gravity-driven.
  • Drop desalination costs by over 2/3rds, by operating at the lowest energy thermodynamically possible for desalination of brackish or seawater - 1 psi plus 10 degrees of temperature change.
  • Present the smallest footprint theoretically possible. A Smart Membrane™ filtration cube measuring 165mm (6.5 inches) per side could produce 100,000 gallons of purified water per day at 1 psi.
  • Be completely scalable from municipal systems to individual use in the field. Individual use for full spectrum filtration could be a simple as a 27" long tube over a filter cartridge, allowing gravity to do the work.
  • Drop maintenance costs and requirements by the simplest maintenance and operation modes of "filter and forget"™ No cleaning, recharging, backflushing, etc.
  • Provide reliability and robustness; purification with no moving parts (except at atomic scale).
  • Introduce potential non-fouling and non-scaling ability by using biological techniques that provide non-fouling filtration in nature.
  • Deliver commercially-competitive performance lifetimes.
  • Reduce the cost of desalination to approximately that of water purification.
  • Replace partial water purification with complete purification at no increased