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REvitalising tap WATER for reduced consumption of plastic water bottles

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RE-WATER (REvitalising tap WATER for reduced consumption of plastic water bottles)

Période du rapport: 2018-08-01 au 2019-01-31

According to European Environment Agency 98.5% of the test in Europe meets the minimums standards for tapped water in EU for drinking, cooking and other domestic purposes. Many countries in Europe have chlorine added to the public water systems to disinfect waterborne diseases. The added chlorine makes the water experience bad, which make people to buy plastic bottled water. The plastic bottled water has 3 issues; plastic waste/recycling, transportation and high water consumption in production.

The annual global consumption of plastic bottles is set to top half a trillion by 2021, which by far outstrips recycling efforts and jeopardises oceans, coastlines and the environment as a whole. The demand, which translates into about 20.000 bottles being sold every second, is driven by an apparently insatiable global desire for plastic bottled water, which especially has accelerated in recent years as the urbanised, and primarily western, ‘on the go’ culture has seen its rise globally. Plastic bottles used for water or soft drinks are, for the most part, made from polyethylene terephthalate, which is highly recyclable – but as their use soars across the globe, efforts to collect and recycle the bottles to keep them from polluting the oceans, are failing to keep up. More than 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016, of which less than 50% were collected for recycling, and only 7% of the collected bottles were turned into new bottles, with all the remaining bottles ending up in landfills or in the ocean. It is estimated, that between 5-13 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by sea birds, fish and other organisms, causing enormous environmental.

In 2007 the global bottled water consumption was 212 billion L and rose to 391 billion L in 2017. It was calculated by Gleick and Cooley that the 212 billion L in 2007 needed 54 million barrels of oil for production which is estimated 2000 times higher than it is required for tapped water. According to Grohe seven liters of water are needed to put just one liter of bottled water on a supermarket shelf. That is a big amount of wasted water.

The energy used to transport the bottled water depends mainly on how far it is shipped and what transportation method is used. Air cargo is the costliest energy method, followed by truck, cargo ship and rail shipping, in that order. Gleick and Cooley used the examples of different types of water shipped. Water produced locally and shipped by truck involved the least amount of energy, followed by water sent by cargo ship from Fiji, with water produced in France and shipped by cargo ship and rail having the highest energy costs. Bottled water of different brands is distributed to the entire world from supplier to distributor and from distributor to supermarkets. Then again from super market to people's homes.
We will tackle this global waste problem by developing a Counter-top sized water-purification machine – called Retap Pure – which, based on reverse osmosis technology and re-mineralisation, is able to remove ions, molecules, bacteria and larger particles from tap water and thereafter providing enhanced water drinks by adding different mineral compositions. Thereby, the user is able to produce clean, purified and enhanced mineral water with the personalised experience related to consuming mineral water, from tap-water, anywhere in the world, thus enabling access to mineral water in a much more cost-effective, convenient and sustainable manner.

In cooperation with Copenhagen University we identified opportunities and limitation for membrane filtration contaminated water followed by re-mineralisation for good water experience. The research from Copenhagen University tested ground, surface and sea water by reverse osmosis technology which resulted in permeate water almost free from minerals. Even the permeate water was almost free of minerals from all three sources the trained Sensory Test Panel from Copenhagen University concluded there was difference on the re-mineralised water from different sources, and especially sea water does not give a good water experience. The results from other contaminated water sources were very promising after the re-mineralisation. The permeate water was re-mineralised by either 40 or 120 mg Ca/L added as CaCO3 and 4 or 24 mg Mg/L added as MgCl2. Total dissolved solids was a major determinant of the taste perception of water. The test was examined from <5 to 440 mg/L and the Sensory Test Panel concluded that the greatest fresh taste was found with total dissolved solids between 190 and 350 mg/L. Re-mineralisation of permeate water after filtration of reverse osmosis can improve drinking water quality significantly. Copenhagen University has experience limitation by the contaminated water sources, but see no problem continue this RE-WATER project where the water source should be clean tapped water with bad taste of example chlorine.

Our business alliance has developed Superior Osmosis, which delivers perfect filtered water, but their technology does not provide the re-mineralisation process. To get access to the re-mineralisation technology, Business alliance has invested in a competitor, a US based company making re-fill stations for workspaces, hotels, gyms, schools etc. Retap Pure Machine will be based on a modified and shrinking version of theirs technology. The technology includes a four step filtration of sediment filter, carbon filter, advanced osmosis and coconut carbon filter. Retap Pure Machine will have four unique re-mineralisation options to meet customer’s different preferences for a great water experience. It will go through a 3 step re-mineralisation process activated oxygen, alkaline enhancement and alectrolyte enhancement. The final development of the perfect composition of minerals will be developed by the experiences of Sensory Test Panel form Copenhagen University.

The IPR on the technology is fully owned by business partner and Further IPR protection on the design of Retap Pure Machine and mineral capsules will be applied for on the re-mineralisation process based on fast-dissolving mineral compounds. These patents should protect against entrenches from indirect and replacement competitors.

The initial market study shows great potential for Retap Pure Machine with different options of re-mineralisation of the water. The market for water treatment systems is estimated to be valued at € 12B by 2025 with a CAGR of 8.1%. Further market study will follow in the following business plan to identify the exact potential for Retap Pure Machine.

The result of the project is classified as a R&D project under our business alliance and will continue under Horizon 2020 SME Phase 2 project. The results of Copenhagen University had been disseminated at Elsevier as Water Researc
The Retap Pure a high end product for people that want a great water experience. The concept can be considered as Nespresso, just for water instead for coffee. Retap Pure is a counter-top purification water machine that filter contaminated water and re-mineralises the filtered water for a great water experience. Retap Pure has four options for re-mineralisation for individual choice and preferences for water. The user just chooses the preferred mineral capsules and adds it to the Retap Pure Machine. The machine can be considered as a high end product focus on people that want a great water experience and help the environment from plastic bottled water.

Our initial primary markets are France, Germany, Italy and Spain, as these countries have a combination of low-quality tap-water, thus a high consumption of plastic bottled water on average the highest pr. capita. The value of these markets for counter-top units is expected to reach € 751.2M in 2024. We expect to reach a market share of 2.5% in 2024 – four years after the completion of RE-WATER project. That will be 25.000 units of Retap Pure Machine. The added mineral capsules for re-mineralisation of the water are the conservative expectation to sell 1000 capsules per unit per year. That will be 25.000.000 capsules.

The revenue is expected to be €2,200,000.00 in 2021 and til rise to €24,200,000.00 in 2024 with a market share on 2.5%. The cumulated profit the first year is expected to be €500.000 rising to €7,800,000.00 in 2024. It is expected we will hire 10 new employees the first year of release and in 2024 we expect 60 new employees.
Concept drawings