Catalyx signs contract for commercial deployment of FO-based dewatering technology

March 4, 2009
Catalyx Inc. has signed a build-own-operate (BOO) contract with RG Global Lifestyles Inc. for a brine dehydration system to facilitate recovery of sodium sulfate from ion exchange regenerant brine. The system will be built around Catalyx's patent-pending Two-Way Osmosis (TWO) system that utilizes a unique membrane to employ forward osmosis (a pressure free water transport mechanism used by plant roots) combined with traditional reverse osmosis...

ANAHEIM, CA, Feb. 27, 2009 -- Catalyx Inc., has signed a build-own-operate (BOO) contract with RG Global Lifestyles Inc. for a brine dehydration system to facilitate recovery of sodium sulfate from ion exchange regenerant brine. The system will be built around Catalyx's patent-pending Two-Way Osmosis (TWO) system that utilizes a unique membrane to employ forward osmosis (a pressure free water transport mechanism used by plant roots) combined with traditional reverse osmosis to dewater 5%-7% sodium sulfate brine without the need for additional chemical or other pre-treatment.

The TWO dewatering system is expected to reduce the volume of concentrated liquid waste by 50%. The further concentration will reduce regenerate brine disposal costs for RG Global significantly, as well as allow RG Global to start recovering the valuable sodium sulfate for sale to industries.

"After months of pilot testing, we are convinced this system will significantly increase our profitability," said Grant King, CEO of RG Global. "The most significant cost of operation in a landlocked state like Wyoming is the disposal of concentrated waste. While our regenerant waste is already the lowest in industry, further concentration allows us to cut costs more and turn the sodium sulfate into a revenue generating product."

Typically, in reverse osmosis, high hydraulic pressure is applied on saltwater to push it through commercial membrane systems to extract pure water -- against the water's natural tendency. These membranes cannot operate in the forward osmosis mode because they have to be built to withstand such pressures which results in Internal Concentration Polarization (ICP) -- in short, the membrane construction requires the water to travel long pathways through the membrane thickness, decreasing the osmotic pressure difference. Catalyx's Forward Osmosis membrane eliminates ICP with a very thin, high porosity membrane that allows water to rapidly travel through the membrane due to the difference in osmotic pressures.

While Catalyx's eventual goal is to adapt its forward osmosis membrane for desalination of seawater, the company is currently only focused on its ability to dewater very difficult-to-treat aqueous wastes. Additionally, Catalyx is marketing the TWO Systems for recycling waste from carpet mills, textile mills, tanneries, mining tailings, oilfield drilling fluids, and concentrating livestock wash water to enhance biogas production.

>> Additional technical background on Catalyx's forward osmosis process

RG Global Lifestyles Inc. develops and markets innovative technologies for water purification and wastewater treatment.

Catalyx Inc. is a privately funded technology incubator founded in 2002.

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