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The Next Wave of Innovation in Green Technology

Environmental sustainability is important to our team at Mug.News, we recognize companies in the Midwest who are pushing forward the next wave of innovation in green technology. One such company is PowerTech Water. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, PowerTech specializes in environmentally responsible water purification. The company received an investment of $591,000 In February 2021 to continue production of ElectraMet, the company’s cleantech water treatment solution to wastewater purification with minimal environmental impact. 

According to the company’s website, its mission is to “apply advanced carbon electrode technologies to deliver clean water in a sustainable manner at a low cost and to solve some of the challenges related to the water-energy-food nexus.” 

Starting PowerTech

PowerTech Water was founded in 2014 by Cameron Lippert and James Landon. The two started out as colleagues at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER). Their story as PowerTech Water begins in 2013 when they decided to enter Awesome Inc’s 5 Across pitch competition. The PowerTech team continued to receive an abundance of local support following the competition, earning $30,000 from the Kentucky Enterprise Fund and $75,000 from the Bluegrass Angels in 2014.  A huge break came for the company when their Small Business Innovation Research program grant application was accepted by the National Science Foundation. “That was huge,” Co-founder Lipton told the University of Kentucky.  “We are fortunate in Kentucky that the state matches federal SBIR grants… It really allowed us to take a chance and see what we had.”

What Makes PowerTech Better?

PowerTech Water’s product ElectraMet is a chemical free way to affordably and effectively purify industrial wastewaters. The product focuses on removing heavy metals from the water, including lead, copper, manganese, iron, zinc, nickel, and cobalt. ElectraMet is able to selectively filter out metals greater than 99% and produces no sludge bio product, resulting in a water recovery rate of 100%. 

ElectraMet can also be scaled to meet the needs of the company and water output, from only ten gallons of water per minute to hundreds; ElectraMet is flexible enough to up and downscale as needed. ElectraMet’s small footprint means that it has significantly lower costs of capital compared with other water purification solutions. The system does not need much maintenance or upkeep long-term, and can help to reduce operational costs by up to 95%.  

ElectraMet has an opportunity, especially in the water softening market, to become the next big thing compared to traditional salt water softeners; the ElectraMet system requires much less upkeep and avoids the hassle of constantly buying large bags of salt to replenish the system as it purifies the water. ElectraMet’s capabilities are great for use in a variety of industries, including microelectronics, electroplating, automotive, metal finishing, mining, food and beverage, and oil and gas. 

How to Get ElectraMet

If a company is looking to implement the ElectraMet system they will be sent a water sampling kit collection device. After users provide a sample of the water they would like purified, PowerTech will analyze the sample to give insights on potential savings. Prospective customers that are considering getting an ElectraMet can lease a pilot unit to test the effectiveness of the system; it has all the same features as the full scale ElectraMet and allows for purification of ten gallons per minute.  A $2000 down payment is required along with a monthly fee for up to two months. 

Companies that decide to purchase the complete system will be guided by a PowerTech engineer who will help select the system to meet the company’s specific needs.  Customers pay 50% down and 50% upon acceptance of the system.

PowerTech is one of the most exciting companies in the water purification industry. They have won both the Open Water Award and Best Business Model, and the 2018 BlueTech China Most Innovative Technology Award. In 2019 PowerTech became a member of the Imagine H2O Cohort. An accelerator with a focus on developing water solutions and distributing them to solve water challenges globally, whose 123 startup participants have raised over $500 million since 2009. Clean water is one of the most important environmental challenges leaders worldwide are coming together to solve, and PowerTech could be an important player in finding the solution moving forward. 

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