Low Cost Green Innovation for Water and Wastewater Treatment

Enova Water Sun, 2010-09-19 23:47

Enova Water · Sun, 09/19/2010 - 23:47


Business Overview: 

Enova Water is a technology development company headed by water industry experts, with significant experience in both public and private sectors. The company provides innovative, low-cost, green technology solutions and products for water and wastewater treatment market. A patented single-use filter technology from Caltech is its first commercial ready product, with five pending demonstration projects. By providing solutions based on proven science in specific niche market for municipalities and industrial sectors, Enova Water can help preserve the environment in a cost effective and sustainable manner by producing clean water without using chemical or energy intensive processes.

Project Location: 
Irvine, CA, 92612
United States
What are your future milestones, and how much capital will you need to achieve each of the milestones outlined?: 

The first mile stone will be executing some of the pending contracts for field specific demonstrations prior to full scale implementation. $500,000 is needed to execute these contracts and support other marketing effort. The next phase fund of $2,000,000 will be used to setup a commercial production facility to manufacture the core filter material that will be supplied to the customers. The profit is in supplying this filter material, so the manufacturing of core filter media will be done by Enova Water in commercial quantities instead of outsourcing the filter media production.

What is your total and operating cash burn (the amount you're spending) per month? : 

Currently the cash burn is minimum as the fund is used only to exhibit the product at conferences and marketing effort for the industrial customers. The team is bootstrapping with minimum resources, but a fair amount of investment has been made to acquire patent, production equipment, R&D equipment, and other resources.

How many future rounds of financing do you project? : 

Initial seed / early stage fund of $500,000 is expected, and $2,000,000 series A investment will be needed to execute the next level of commercialization. The technology demonstration was previously performed with funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE), and additional grant proposals are being prepared to offset the funding required currently.

Services Desired: 
Legal-Intellectual Property
Supply Chain/Distribution
Grant Writer
Who is the Customer?: 

The customers will be municipalities, industries, or companies needing cost effective treatment alternative for producing drinking water, cleaning contaminated groundwater, or complying with discharge regulations for the waste containing arsenic, selenium, chromium, and others.

What is the Customer Pain that you are solving?: 

Recent change in the water regulations has necessitated simple, cost effective treatment solution to comply with state and federal standards. Enova Water provides such treatment technology at a significnatly less cost, helping the customers' needs.

Names of any current or recent customers: 

All five pending contracts in the US are for municipal customers. Through partner companies, Enova Water has also positioned to provide the proposed technology solution to other industrial sectors, such as refineries and manufacturing industries that produce waste streams.

What is the Target Market?: 

The initial target will be a niche market where waste streams from drinking water treatment plants containing high levels of metal contaminants. Another market sector is groundwater clean up, refinery waste, industrial manufacturing waste, etc. Enova Water will be targeting the drinking water market both in the US and overseas, once traction is built on the waste treatment sector as the municipal market takes longer cycle for implementation.

How big is the Target Market in terms of Annual Sales?: 
Sales/Marketing Strategy: 

There are pending sole source contracts for field demonstration currently. These are based on municipal treatment plants that generate waste by-product during the treatment process. Enova Water is in discussions with two sales groups to collaborate and expand the sales and marketing to industrial applications and refineries. These partner companies will be working with Enova Water on a commission based sales by adding Enova Water's product to their portfolio of technology solutions.

Provide use cases : 

One pending customer generates waste (brine) from their treatment plant, and the annual cost of disposing of the liquid hazardous waste from this small plant is approximately $325,000. The proposed solution can remove the contaminants from this waste stream, such that the contaminant free wastewater can be disposed of locally instead of trucking 10,000 gallons of hazardous waste hundreds of miles away every 2 weeks for disposal. The estimated return on investment for this case is about two years with the proposed product.


There are some companies that offer similar solutions, but the cost of these single-use filter media is high, and sometimes limits the implementation in the field for some cases. Unlike the commercially available adsorptive filter media (granular media or resin based media), the proposed technology is cost effective and provides an added benefit of 20-fold waste reduction.

One-line Pitch: 

Patented water & wastewater treatment technology using innovative, green, and cost-effective solution from Caltech.

Business Model: 

The business model is based on recurring sales of single use filter media in large scale, where the filter's capacity is in 6 to 12 months depending on the operating conditions. In addition, Enova Water will be providing service contracts to help with the trouble shoot and operation of the water and wastewater treatment equipment. Under certain cases, licensing the technology will be considered for specific market sectors in the US or overseas partner companies, which will provide added revenue.

Product/Services Overview (what does it do): 

The product, which is single use water and wastewater adsorption filter media, selectively removes target contaminants including arsenic, selenium, chromium, and other emerging contaminants. Once the contaminant removal capacity is exhausted, the used filter waste is dried to 5% of the original volume for environmentally friendly disposal. Please contact us at enovawater@gmail.com for additional information.


What makes the technology/business unique and have a defendable competitive advantage?: 

One of the challenges associated with implementing water/industrial wastewater treatment is the cost and complexity of the system. Enova Water's solution solves these problems by offering a single-use, disposable filter media, with a fraction of the cost of comparable product on the market today. The technology used is not only based on green and sustainable approach using natural raw material (biopolymer), but it also is simple and affordable to make this a compelling alternative for certain water and wastewater treatment applications.

Describe in detail the technology used in the Project - Address the innovation in significant detail : 

The core technology is based on combining a number of core chemical principles into a single product, such that the water treatment provided by this system is simple, low-cost, and sustainable, where the waste filter media volume and weight are reduced by 20 fold prior to disposal. The end product simplifies the treatment process compared to a chemical or energy intensive processes.

What are the principles of the technology? : 

The technology is based on a single use filter media that is designed to remove and adsorb metal contaminants in water. After the contaminant removal capacity is exhausted, the filter media (small adsorption beads) are then dried to decrease the waste volume to reduce waste transportation and disposal costs.

What, if anything, has been proven (and how far is this from a commercial scale)? : 

There have been a number of demonstration projects for the proposed technology for multiple source waters including both water and wastewater containing high levels of metals, such as arsenic, selenium, and chromium. The product for these contaminants are ready to be commercialized for specific applications and certain supply ranges. A large supply contract in the range of a few hundred thousand dollars per replacement will require additional investment to increase the production level.

What challenges/risk does the technology face for commercialization?: 

For the proposed technology, the production yield is a challenge, where the faster production of the filter material using a current manufacuring method will decrease the cost of the filter material. Currently, there is little technology risk as the technology has been field tested for ten years with more than a dozen source waters.

Patent Numbers (Filed/Approved): 

The patent was issued in 2001 and four or five additional patents are being prepared. Some of them are related to the proposed technology, and others are for different types of treatment systems including waste minimization, biological treatment, membrane treatment enhancement, etc.


S. Mednick, USC
L. Gilbert, Caltech


Amount Sought: 
If raising funds, what shall the funds be used for?: 

The funds will be used for executing and supporting pending contracts initially. These large scale demonstration projects will be followed by full scale installations. The funds will also be used for operating expenses and to setup a production facility for core adsorption filter material that is used to effectively remove contaminants from water. Hardware to house the filter material will be outsourced to one of the three partnering companies depending on the project location.

Amount invested by Founders: 
Funding Stage: 


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