Forward Osmosis companies up to 10 years behind, says Modern Water

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British company Modern Water which has the world’s first commercial scale Forward Osmosis (FO) drinking water desalination plant up and running in the Middle East has said that global competition could be as much as ten years behind.

The company trialled its FO technology at a 18 m3/day plant in Gibraltar, before rolling it out to a 100 m3/day plant at Al Khaluf in Oman.

It was then at the end of 2012 when the company announced its 200 m3/day plant at Al Najdah, with Oman’s Public Authority for Electricity & Water in what was called “the world’s first commercial FO desalination plant”.

In an exclusive interview with Water & Wastewater International (WWi) magazine, executive chairman Neil McDougall said: “In terms of forward osmosis for desalination purposes, we are years ahead of anybody else – at least five if not 10 years ahead.

“There’s nobody that I’m aware of, particularly for drinking water purposes who have anything like we have. Nobody else has a large scale plant. Our technology is fully protected – we have over 99 patents now. It would be very difficult for somebody to try and catch up to where we are.”

The company was formed in 2006 after taking the FO technology concept from the University of Surrey with the aim of developing it on a commercial scale. Since then it has been applying its FO technology to industrial water in Kuwait and has signed an agreement with China’s Hangzhou Water.

-  A full interview with Modern Water’s executive chairman Neil McDougall will appear in the April-May edition of WWi magazine. To sign up for your free copy, please click here.


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