ITT's Pokorsky to lead Aquarius Technologies; sludgeless process gets venture backing
ITT Advanced Water Treatment's past president said the independent unit he now heads, Aquarius Technologies, secured $7.5 million in funding to globally market proprietary processes that prevent, not reduce, generation of waste sludge during wastewater treatment. CEO Tom Pokorsky, a past chairman of the Water Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, said L Capital Partners led the financing round, which will enable the company to ramp up sales and marketing of its sludgeless processes...
• Processes that prevent production of waste sludge brought to market by venture-backed start-up.
PORT WASHINGTON, WI, Sept. 11, 2006 -- The former president of ITT's Advanced Water Treatment unit announced today that the company he now heads, Aquarius Technologies, has secured $7.5 million in funding to globally market proprietary processes that prevent, not reduce, the generation of waste sludge during wastewater treatment.
CEO Tom Pokorsky, a past chairman of the Water Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, said that L Capital Partners in New York led the financing round, which will enable the company to ramp up sales and marketing of its sludgeless processes.
"Most wastewater treatment facilities use the return-activated-sludge process to degrade and settle out particulates, which creates waste sludge," he said. "But with our multistage activated biological process (MSABP), no waste sludge is created.
"In the most simplistic of terms," he explained, "this process for treatment of biodegradable, organic pollutants is based on naturally occurring microbial food chains, in which microbes are consumed by primary microorganisms, which are then themselves consumed by higher organized microbes. The end result is sludgeless, highly purified effluent."
Pokorsky adds that the company also has a proprietary sludgeless solution for treatment of non-biodegradable and toxic pollutants: "Aquarius Technologies' electro-catalytic process (ELCAT) also is a chemical-free and sludgeless process," he said, "but the ELCAT process is for treatment of such pollutants as textile dyes, detergents, cyanides, pesticides, herbicides, hydrocarbons and phenols.
"Unlike processes that simply add oxygen-containing chlorine compounds," he said, "the ELCAT two-stage process is based on electrochemical oxidation followed by catalytic oxidation. Compounds present in the wastewater serve as catalysts for the oxidation processes, so there's no need for chemicals."
Said Oded Weiss, partner and chief financial officer at L Capital Partners: "These processes eliminate a facility's high cost of turning waste sludge into EPA-acceptable 'biosolids' for landfill disposal or fertilizer. And with increasingly stringent standards expected, compliance will get even more difficult -- and even more expensive. So we put our money on the Aquarius Technologies' value proposition: Cost-effective compliance. That's good for business and
it's good for the environment.
"And, of course, we believe that's good for us," added Weiss, stating that this year there have been a number of "noteworthy acquisitions" in the wastewater treatment industry, among them General Electric acquiring Zenon and Siemens acquiring USFilter. Neither acquired company, he said, has the advanced solutions that Aquarius Technologies offers.
"We understand that it's difficult to believe the 'sludgeless' claim being made," acknowledged Weiss. "Tom traveled to the Middle East to talk with some of the 30 municipal and industrial customers who have been using the processes, and to see the results with his own eyes before he would sign on as CEO," he continued. "Obviously, he was convinced."
Weiss explained that the company holds the global license to market patented technology invented at Elif Technology, Ltd., a 12-year-old private environmental engineering company in Ariel, Israel.
The company is approaching the North American market through independent sales agents throughout the United States and Canada. Additionally, Aquarius Technologies is working with design engineers, consulting engineers and contractors to reach municipalities and industries that
generate relatively large amounts of wastewater. Outside of North America, the company plans to operate as a total solutions provider, which includes installation and operation of wastewater facilities.
Currently, the company has sales offices in Madrid, Spain, and in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The processes are being successfully deployed in Asia, Europe and North America, in addition to the Middle East, said Pokorsky, adding, "A full-scale project is currently being installed in California and two U.S. pilot projects are planned for next year."
For more information about the funding, see L Capital Partners' release, also distributed over BusinessWire today. Aquarius Technologies is headquartered at 1103 Mineral Springs Drive, Suite 300, Port Washington, WI 53074; 262-268-1500; www.aquariustechnologies.com.
L Capital Partners, L.P., is a midsized venture-capital firm with $165 million under management. Established in September 2004, the firm is, in general, a development- and later-stage investor, interested in diversified companies within emerging industries or in emerging companies within mature industries. L Capital Partners, which currently has nine portfolio companies, also seeks higher-risk opportunities with companies involved in developing transformational products or services regardless of the industry stage. Focused on healthcare and technology companies, the firm is headquartered in New York, N.Y., and has an office in Tel
Aviv, Israel. L Capital Partners is licensed by the SBA as a Small Business Investment Company. For more information, go to www.lcapitalpartners.com.