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New technology could be a breakthrough in wastewater

ZwitterCo, an "advanced membrane technology company" based in Woburn, Mass., outside Boston, recently announced the opening of its Early Access Program for the company’s new brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) membranes. This involves highly advanced new technology that could prove to be a useful breakthrough in wastewater treatment, and could even provide new jobs down the line. The new program was even featured in Forbes magazine earlier this month.

ZwitterCo’s BWRO elements are regarded as "the first organic fouling-immune brackish water membranes in the world that reduce cleaning frequency by as much as 90%," resulting in lower operational costs while delivering proven and reliable BWRO performance.

Membrane fouling and degradation from frequent cleaning have previously "plagued the industry," according to Zwitter, causing excessive downtime, increased operational costs, and shorter membrane lifespan.

“We are confident our zwitterionic technology will transform industrial water treatment and reuse. We look forward to working with our Early Access Program members who share our mission of making water treatment more efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective,” said Jon Goodman, Vice President, Commercial Development of ZwitterCo.

Globally, there are tens of thousands of industrial BWRO systems that process surface water feeds and face challenges from natural organic matter (i.e. color bodies) and biogrowth, which adhere to the membrane surface and impede performance. Other high-fouling applications for BWRO membranes include secondary effluent from wastewater treatment systems and effluent polishing. Growing demand for wastewater reuse is driving the need for new BWRO membranes that overcome these classical fouling challenges.

ZwitterCo’s unique zwitterionic membrane technology directly solves the long-standing challenges of maintaining BWRO systems. With their immunity to irreversible organic fouling, ZwitterCo’s BWRO elements have been shown in testing to restore membrane performance with only a water flush, even after filtering high-fouling streams. This enables longer run-times between required maintenance, full performance restoration, and longer membrane life. ZwitterCo’s BWRO elements are a drop-in replacement, making them fast and easy to implement without needing any system modifications.

The Early Access Program will enable ZwitterCo to partner with a limited number of customers and OEMs for field applications before the product’s commercial launch in 2024. Customers with distressed RO systems, or OEMs working on tough BWRO applications, who participate in the program will have the opportunity to install a full train or pilot system. Additional benefits of the Early Access Program include special pricing and terms, involvement in ZwitterCo’s technology development program, technical review of system operation, and optimization of system cleaning and maintenance.

ZwitterCo’s RO elements will be on display at this year’s Aquatech Amsterdam and the International Water Conference (IWC) exhibitions. Visit the team at Aquatech booth 05.104H or the IWC booth 216 this November. To sign up or learn more about the early access program, visit ZwitterCo’s website.

About ZwitterCoZwitterCo’s membranes solve the most complex separation challenges, providing industries with the tools for advanced wastewater treatment and water reuse.

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