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CleanHydro Report Summary

Project ID: 744098


Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Industry activities such as manufacturing, mining & quarrying or construction have to deal with both contaminated stormwater and industrial process wastewaters at their sites. These wastewaters, generally of high volumes and flow rates, have high contents of suspended and dissolved pollutants. In order to be discharged safely, and to comply with EC regulations, they need to be treated accordingly.
The European water treatment market presents a supply gap for effective treatment equipment. Today’s technology is either not effective at treating larger volumes of water, too complex or too costly. Therefore, companies struggle to comply with regulations as disposal of residual wastewaters from an industrial plant is still a difficult and costly problem (several € millions/year). This situation force companies and projects to shut down or relocate to areas outside Europe, with less strict regulations, in order to avoid fines.
Moreover, the management of industrial stormwater is particularly one of the biggest environmental problems today; impacting water quality, human’s health and ecosystems. Finally, industrial water use accounts for 20-30% of total water consumption and accounts for up to 25% of total production costs. With industries facing pressure on scarce water resources and even under the most favourable scenarios of climate change, the reuse of water becomes the best alternative to save costs while reducing charges for water disposal.
CleanHydro is a complete solution for the treatment of large volumes of industrial storm and wastewater, for many different types of activities: infrastructure and construction projects, mining or manufacturing industry (e.g. metal industry). It presents a 2-steps modular water treatment approach: 1) chitosan based chemical flocculation and sedimentation, to effectively remove particulate contaminants and particle-associated pollutants, and 2) BioMedia filtration with sorptive media to effectively remove a wide variety of dissolved pollutants (dissolved heavy metals and organic compounds). CleanHydro provides a complete treatment program that can address a wide variety of water treatment challenges, allowing European industries to meet their obligations more affordably, safely and effectively.
CleanHydro is currently at TRL7 with a pilot version successfully tested. Before engaging in the full project development we have conducted a Feasibility Study, to ensure its technical, commercial and financial viability.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Following the approval of our Phase 1 project, we have performed a 4 months feasibility study on CLEANHYDRO. The following key aspects of the project were assessed:
- Technical viability plan: We have completed a comprehensive description of CLEANHYDRO technology and its applications. We have detailed a complete bill of material, failure modes and effects analysis (system/design/process) to control costs and risks and identifying potential areas of concern in the system lifecycle (e.g. operation, maintenance). We identified the required component upgrades based on our pilot to fully commercialise CLEANHYDRO (TRL9). We identified the expert subcontractors and suppliers needed to perform specific tasks: materials manufacturers/suppliers. We have derived the project execution of phase 2 based on these activities.
- Commercialisation plan: We have engaged in industrial testing with potential end-users for the development of key aspects of the product launch, determination of the operational capacities and product commercialization. We have established agreements with key suppliers and manufacturers. Based on the expressed interest of diverse companies we have defined the steps required to provide a high quality water treatment system and identified the target end users (mining, industry, and construction), its markets and potential competitors and defined our commercialisation and exploitation strategy. We have detailed a SWOT and critical risk analysis. We have performed freedom to operate analysis of the technology and have identified no impediments to commercialise CLEANHYDRO. We have conducted ETV and LCA external audits to provide additional support to our product.
- Financial Plan: We have estimated the projections of revenues, costs, viability margin, cash flow and break-even to evaluate net profit and Return of Investment (ROI) of CLEANHYDRO for the first 5 years after commercialisation. We have defined the business model and assessed related risks.

The results of the feasibility study proved CLEANHYDRO to be technically, commercially and financially feasible and support our decision to continue with the project and pursue the SME Instrument Phase 2 funding opportunity.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

During the project we have settled an operational prototype of CLEANHYDRO on the field. We have obtained excellent results in terms of efficiency and capacity. Moreover, in order to develop a high quality product we have addressed upgrades to its modules. Accordingly with the positive results we have established distribution and confidential agreements with suppliers and manufacturers.

In this period we have engaged with potential clients and stakeholders from different activities that require water treatment and that constitute a valuable asset to penetrate the national market once our product is ready. A number of clients have approached us willing to acquire our services. They will be an ideal portfolio of our product to expand to other countries. We have performed a market study to identify countries with high number of enterprises in our target market (industry, mining and quarrying) base on the volume of wastewater and type of waste. In addition we have assessed risks and developed mitigation measures.

We expect a 7.4M € turnover by year two with an estimate of 70 units sold. Our product will help industries produce water that meets environmental regulations with an effective, easy to use and reliable technology at a lower cost (50% less). It will enable for safe operations for both the environment and personnel, while being highly profitable as it 1) maximises water recycling for reuse; 2) reduces water and energy consumption, and 3) enables the recovery of valuable elements.

Our innovative product will heavily impact European industry as it will significantly change the water treatment market, help develop industry, and enable major infrastructure projects be completed timely and on budget. Moreover, our product is 100% biodegradable and friendly with the environment contributing to attain contamination of water bodies and streams.

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