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Water technology applied to industrial applications

17.06.2021 16:05

H2oVortex

Carlo Thelen, general director of the Chamber of Commerce; Håkan Grönlund, founder H2oVortex in Luxembourg and Alain Mestat, Strategic advisor H2oVortex

Visit of 02 April,2021

"As the climate warms and world population grows, demand for water has surged, but supplies of freshwater are static or dropping. Water conservation has become essential in all regions of the world, even where water seems abundant. That's because the world's water resources are finite, and they are getting smaller every year, an assessment of what is emerging as the dominant issue in decades ahead"

Keeping this assessment in mind, Anders Lindskog and Håkan Grönlund have been working on a dedicated technology enabling the reduction of water consumption within industrial applications, which currently represent 59% of all of the world's annual water usage. Increasing water efficiency within industrial applications will significantly contribute to reducing water related problems in areas of the world where water has become a significant concern. Reduction in chemical dependency is starting to be made mandatory in many areas. This increasing regulatory pressure will impose and enforce more stringent environmental regulation. In addition, companies are starting to feel increased pressure by the shareholders in order to comply with ever more stringent ESG standards around the world.

The market will demand more effective solutions to significantly reduce the usage of water, energy and chemicals.

The VPT is based on biomemetic principles, where technology imitates nature and duplicates its most efficient processes. The specific process as generated by the VPT, is the artificial spinning of water into a controlled vortex/spiral movement at minimal pressure within a confined patented devise made out of composite materials. This unique purely physical technology devise is called Industrial Vortex Generator or IVG and constitutes the backbone of the entire VPT. The water, passing through the IVG, does undergo some essential changes of which the most important are: air bubbles inside the water are totally removed, viscosity of the water is decreased by up to 20%, increase in density up to 5%, crystallization of calcium into calcite (no lime scale formation anymore) as well as cavitation killing all bacterias.

One of the main characteristics of IVG is that is completely 3D printed, enabling for a most cost effective production process. The entire technology is protected by international patents, Disruptive water treatment technology applied to industrial applications Co-founders of clean tech company Watreco, Anders Lindskog and Håkan Grönlund, founded H2oVortex in Luxembourg where they have been focusing on international business development and marketing of the technology. The first marketable application of H2oVortex was REALice©, a more sustainable way to create ice for ice rinks. The application, characterized as 'green ice', reduces the operating expense of an ice rink by 30-40%, making REALice® the environmental application of choice. With currently close to 900 installations worldwide, REALice© will become the market leader within the next couple of years.

The company's second commercial application is Industrial Vortex Generator for Cooling Towers (IVG-CT), which has seen an increasing commercial success with more than 85 installations worldwide. The application reduces water consumption by up to 50%, reduces energy consumption by up to 8%, and totally eliminates the usage of all chemicals (local regulation permitting) making the application the most environmentally friendly solution and further enhancing the sustainability of any industrial activity. Alain Mestat joined H2oVortex as a strategic advisor in 2018, complementing Håkan's international business development efforts. Given H2oVortex's commercial success, the company has been developing an international distribution network in Europe, North America, South America, Australia and the Middle East.

Interview with Alain Mestat

What projects are you currently working on ?

Given the fact that in 2020 several major international independent studies and assessments confirming the exceptional results our IVG technology were published, it allowed us to further cement the credibility of the company and boost our international busines development efforts. Currently most of our efforts are concentrated on increasing the sustainability as well as substantially reducing the CO2 footprint of large international industrial infrastructure projects where cooling requirements are massive (Data Centers, Oil & Gas, Food and Beverage, Real Estate, etc).

We are also working on several new vertical applications based on our VPT platform: IVG-AS (anti scaling for residential usage) solution which is a patented system for treating limescale in water. The artificial vortex forces the crystallization of calcium in the form of calcite/aragonite, which can then no longer adhere to any surface. It is an ecological alternative to conventional water softeners and is a purely physical process with no maintenance required, consisting of an easy 'plug and play' solution, easily installaled by a local licensed installer chosen by the client.  IVG-IR (irrigation for Greenhouses) application significantly increases the production yield of various crops without the need to increase water or fertilizer usage (up to 20%)? We see a significant international commercial opportunity for this particular application. Given these various positive developments, we are currently working with one of the major international investment banks in New York to assist us in locating an adequate strategic industrial/ financial partner which would allow us to further expand our reach.

What achievements are you particularly proud of ?

Three in particular: a collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), which provides thought leadership, industry expertise, and collaborative value to help the electricity sector identify new technologies and getting their approval of our IVG-CT application; working with the California Energy Commission for a 100% clean energy future; and obtaining the EU Commission Matching Horizon 2020 and their validation of our IVG-CT application (in collaboration with EDF, ENEL and ENGIE).

The last time you had a doubt ?

We have no doubts.

For you, what does it mean to have an entrepreneurial spirit ?

It is making an idea a reality and seeing it become a success.

What impact did the COVID crisis have on your business and what do you think the Chamber of Commerce could do to support you ?

The impact has been travelling restrictions as we need to be present on site due to the size of our projects. Our prospective customers would like to come and see our various installations which has been extremely challenging for us to be able to realize. As Luxembourg would like to show a sustainable profile worldwide, the Chamber of Commerce could promote Luxembourg's smaller sustainable companies more actively at different international events.

Photos: H2oVortex

The Vortex Process Technology (VPT) is based on biomemetic principles, where technology imitates nature and duplicates its most efficient processes.

The specific process as generated by the VPT, is the artificial spinning of water into a controlled vortex/spiral movement at minimal pressure within a confined patented devise made out of composite materials.

The Industrial Vortex Generator for Cooling Towers (IVG-CT), which has seen an increasing commercial success with more than 85 installations worldwide.