The adoption of water treatment technologies has drastically increased as efforts to preserve and protect the planet have risen to all-time highs.
In a word, water treatment technologies are crucial when it comes to eliminating contaminants and bacteria from clean, potable water supplies. As such, wastewater treatments are to remove as many contaminants as possible before the rest of the water is sent back into the environment
With the global population expected to grow by 75 million each year, reaching 9.9 billion by 2050, pressure on water sources will also increase — which is where solutions like water treatment technologies come in and will be integral moving forward.
By 2027, it is estimated that the water and wastewater treatment market will be worth a staggering US$242.6 billion fueled in part by markets such as North America and Europe adopting technologies in wastewater treatment and the overall necessity of wastewater treatment around the world.
Companies like Forward Water Technologies Corp. (TSXV:FWTC, Forum) are at the forefront of this innovative market thanks to its proprietary forward osmosis technology.
Founded in 2015, Forward Water Technologies’ osmosis technology doesn’t use applied pressure or energy and doesn’t use forced filtration. Instead, the forward osmosis process rejects all impurities and can separate clean water from the waste stream.
Putting it simply, the company’s technology enables manufacturing operations to clean wastewater that would normally require costly disposal. In line with this, Forward Water Technologies’ solution also allows for the reclamation of up to 90% of the waste as clean water and returning it to the environment
A wastewater solution that’s one step ahead
Based out of Ontario, Forward Water Technologies has been developing its patented industrial water treatment system that enables manufacturing operations to reduce liquid waste volumes by up to as much as 92% and extracts clean water that would be costly to dispose of.
Thanks to the company’s technology, that water is able to be reintroduced back into manufacturing operations while also reducing carbon footprints.
In an interview with Stockhouse Editorial, Howie Honeyman, CEO of Forward Water Technologies, explained that part of the company’s vision is to make water part of the manufacturing process through its energy-efficient way of recycling water.
He also said that what makes Forward Water Technologies’ solution different from other wastewater solutions on the market is that it has been able to find a way to “suck” water across a membrane by using a special proprietary salt material.
“In doing that [our technology] can pull the water out of the waste so that it’s available for re-use,” he explained.
Honeyman added the next step is then taking the special salt out by way of a low energy process that leaves behind the clean water, recovers the chemicals from the special salt process and gets reused over and over again.
“What we offer is a really low energy way of recovering the vast amount of water from a waste stream that would typically just be thrown away or boiled to death,” he said.
In summary, the company’s forward osmosis technology moves water across a membrane by using an osmosis gradient that is created by using a proprietary chemical package. After the clean water has been removed from the waste stream, the chemical package can easily be translated to gasses. The gas that bubbles out of clean water is then captured and reused in a closed loop.
What boils down to it is that Forward Water Technologies’ proprietary solution has a leg up over its peers due to its low energy process that has spontaneous water separation with no material consumption.
Growing adoption of water treatment technologies
Implementing new water treatment technologies is certainly growing in importance and is said to be able to lower the reliance on deep well disposals. In the same vein, forward osmosis water technologies are already being implemented into markets such as fracking water treatment, zero liquid discharge and desalination for re-use.
When asked about why water waste technologies are so important, Honeyman explained that because the human race generates so much hazardous wastewater each year, clean water is becoming a scarcity on a global scale.
As it currently stands, wastewater is sent to permanent disposal wells, which is the equivalent of removing the volume of 300 hours of Niagara Falls every year — forever.
In line with this, it is estimated that the global deficit for fresh water will reach 2.7 trillion
Cubic meters by 2030, which could affect up to 60% of the world’s population.
To help prevent this, Forward Water Technologies is targeting two specific broad areas, with one of them being heavily compromised industrial wastewater — which includes pharmaceuticals and textiles — because they are markets that produce some of the most contaminated water.
The other market Honeyman said the company is targeting is brine management, which he explained are solutions that have a lot of dissolved minerals and are often used in manufacturing processes, including recovering oil and gas products out of the ground and harvesting lithium.
“On the brine management side of things, [Forward Water Technologies] is looking at aiding and improving all of the established technologies and also finding ways to enable and establish the emerging sustainability, such as lithium recovery and make those clean from the start instead of repairing them later,” he said.