DTU spinout cleans water with nature’s own resources

Tuesday 07 Jan 20
DTU spinout Aquaporin has found an efficient way to purify both industrial waste water and drinking water using nature's own technology.

As the population expands and the earth gets hotter, we are faced with a global water crisis in the near future. Some of the things we can look at are better ways to save, filtrate and reuse water.

"We can help provide crisp, clean and tasty water to people's homes, using nature’s own filtration solution"
Esben Gad, Vice President of Business Development at Aquaporin

DTU spinout Aquaporin has developed technology to filtrate water more efficiently and thoroughly than anything else on the market today.  The company, established in 2005, delivers membrane technology that is build on nature’s own water filtration system.

“There is a huge global challenge in getting better at purifying and reusing water. And we will also have to start desalinating more seawater if the population keeps expanding”, says Esben Gad, Vice President of Business Development at Aquaporin. “It’s a problem on a global scale, and we believe we have a part to play”, he continues.

Membrane technology based on nature made filters

Aquaporin produces two different membranes that both filtrate and purify water but on different scales. Their two technologies are respectively 'revers osmosis' and 'forward osmosis'.

The membrane used in their revers osmosis process purifies water much more energy efficiently than other solutions today. This makes a huge difference when cleaning the vast amount of wastewater found in most industries.


Their other membrane, used in forward osmosis, is able to remove matters such as pesticides and drug compounds that other membranes cannot filtrate. It is the finest and most compact membrane on the market today.


The membranes have one major thing in common – they both contain aquaporins. Aquaporins are the proteins in nature that are responsible for transporting and purifying water in all living cells.

”We envision a future where nature’s own solution can provide clean water for the world”, says VP Esben Gad, “the idea was to use a fantastic technology that was developed by nature itself”.

The company uses these nature made filters to tailor-clean water faster, more energy efficient and completely natural.


Making an impact

Aquaporin has chosen their market and main customers based on where they can have most impact and make a difference.


The membranes are, for example, used for cleaning wastewater from the textile industry that is infamous for leaving behind an enormous amount of very dirty water. “As our membranes can get more water through it is a cheaper solution that also saves energy”, Esben Gad explains.


It is also a good fit for Zero Liquid Discharge – the very contemporary concept of reusing all industrial wastewater. And cleaning the water through Aquaporin’s membrane process is much more sustainable than, for example, incineration.


The membranes are also used in people’s homes where clean water is hard to come, such as India. There are a lot of micro pollutants in drinking water today and Aquaporin's forward osmosis proces can remove many of those. "We can help provide crisp, clean and tasty water to people's homes, using nature’s own filtration solution", says Esben Gad.


Thus, Aquaporin has adjusted a principle that nature has already perfected itself - proving that we can utilise the way our natural ecosystem works.