Elemental Water Makers has developed a renewable energy driven desalination system that can deliver fresh water at lower costs. It provides an emission free solution which is independent of the price and availability of fossil fuels. Join us in solving fresh water scarcity while only using the sea, sun, earth and wind.
Warm regions with limited fresh water resources currently cope with fresh water scarcity. In order to get access to fresh water, these regions use seawater or brackish groundwater which is desalinated using a process called reverse osmosis. The process is electricity intensive and therefore regions with high electricity prices cope with high water costs. This creates an opportunity for renewable energy driven reverse osmosis.
There are two important barriers for renewable energy driven reverse osmosis:
- Reverse osmosis has been designed for constant operation, which is a challenge due to fluctuating intensity of the sun and wind.
- Existing renewable energy driven reverse osmosis solutions are expensive.
The innovation of Elemental Water Makers overcomes these barriers. The system can enable water production at lower costs than the existing alternatives in water scarce regions with high electricity prices. Existing renewable driven reverse osmosis solutions are at least twice as expensive as the innovation, while they are already being sold globally. The savings are realized through an innovative system which enables a constant reverse osmosis process, while running on fluctuating solar or wind energy only.
Elemental Water Makers was founded in April 2012 by Sid Vollebregt and Reinoud Feenstra, two engineers of the University of Technology Delft. The foundation of the company originates from a technological innovation which was designed, implemented and evaluated in the year before by the construction of a successful field pilot in Indonesia. The founders are determined to get their technology successfully into the market as they are convinced of the need for renewable driven desalination. With a strong background in water treatment, sustainable energy technology, mechanical engineering and entrepreneurship and a large network within these topics, all required expertise is within reach.
EWM has reached the scale-up phase of their company, having implemented over 10 projects in 7 countries.
Water and fossil energy costs are rising, while at the same time an increasing water demand by population growth and rising living standards. With phenomena as the salinization of aquifers and climate change effects, the demand for desalination is expected to double the next coming years. Meanwhile, decreasing costs of renewable energy, the vast availability of salt water and increasing environmental awareness make the coupling of renewable energy and desalination the next logical step to solve fresh water scarcity. However, there is one main barrier. Reverse osmosis is designed for continuous operation, while renewables fluctuate over time. Elemental Water Makers has developed a solution which enables a constant reverse osmosis process, while running on fluctuating renewable energy only. Batteries are avoided, as they involve high investment costs versus a short lifetime in warmer climates, together with energy conversion losses and maintenance.
Hotels on water scarce islands
Hotels pay higher water tariffs than domestic users, offering a solid business opportunity. They will also benefit from a green image by avoiding the use of fossil fuels. This is the initial focus market of Elemental Water Makers.
Remote communities in coastal regions
Providing rural communities with a water treatment system for drinking water purposes with a water kiosk business model through NGO’s and government’s forms an interesting future market. The market size consists of the 2.1 billion people without access to safe water, of which 80% lives in rural areas.
Municipalities with high energy costs
Providing large scale systems to municipalities to enable affordable water using an independent method of production through renewable energy is another future ambition.