Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the energy sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising osmosis-based solutions.
Heat Map: 5 Top Osmosis-Based Solutions In Energy
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of energy. For this research, we identified 31 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing innovative osmosis-based solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 31 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Aquabattery – Salinity Gradient Power
Osmosis is a passive process wherein solvent moves across a selective semipermeable membrane, due to a difference in solute concentration on the two sides of the membrane. Companies are exploring the difference in osmotic potential between two streams to generate salinity gradient power. The osmotic properties of water and other liquids with salt finds applications in energy storage for various renewable sources.
Dutch cleantech company Aquabattery offers sustainable energy solutions. The startup’s electrical storage system, BlueBattery, uses water and table salt to store and supply energy. This system consists of a series of water storage tanks and membrane stacks to maintain the salinity gradient. While charging, the diluted saltwater splits into concentrated saltwater and freshwater, whereas while discharging, the flow is opposite The membrane stacks re-combine the water and the salt to continuously generate energy in a loop.
Pani Energy – Osmotic Energy Storage (OES)
A major challenge for the adoption of renewable energy involves the limitation of energy storage solutions. Pumped hydroelectric energy storage is a popular method today, but it requires elevated surfaces since it uses gravitational potential. Osmotic energy storage, on the other hand, does not have any geographical constraints. This now ensures that OES is applicable to all types of renewable energy projects.
Canadian startup Pani Energy develops an osmotic energy storage solution. The startup utilizes the chemical potential energy between tanks of brine and desalinated water. Moreover, solar energy powers the separation of salt and water, which are later mixed back to recover stored energy, as and when it is needed. The startup also offers innovative technologies for desalination and wastewater treatment plants.
Gradiant – Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD)
Fossil fuel-based power plants generate a lot of toxic byproducts in wastewater streams. Zero liquid discharge is a treatment process that recovers valuable materials and almost all the wastewater for reuse. Traditionally, these are removed using thermal treatment with evaporators. However, processes like electrodialysis, osmosis, and membrane distillation now offer affordable and energy-efficient alternatives.
Singapore-based company Gradiant offers sustainable solutions to tackle complex water and wastewater challenges. The startup uses its patented CounterFlow Reverse Osmosis (CFRO) process to enable ZLD systems with RO Infinity. This process removes all the harmful contaminants from wastewater streams. CFRO also finds applications in disinfection and clarification of wastewater in oil & gas plants.
Hyrec – Reverse Osmosis (RO) Desalination
Osmosis technologies offer promise to couple desalination with energy generation in marine projects. In conventional petrochemical industries, RO finds applications in brine concentration from wastewater streams. This allows oil & energy companies to enhance process recovery, as well as the recovery of commercially important salts and minerals from wastewater streams.
Turkish startup Hyrec provides solutions based on osmotically-assisted reverse osmosis (OARO). The technology uses the osmotic pressure difference between the feed and the permeate sides to allow the treatment of ultra-saline feeds. For petrochemical companies, the solution extracts industrial grade salts from wastewater. The salts are produced to offset the cost of the process while minimizing the environmental impact of the plant operations. OARO is capable of handling higher levels of burst pressure, serving as an upgrade from conventional RO systems.
Salinnova – Energy Recovery
The desalination of seawater is a promising, but still an expensive source of freshwater. Often, startups take a cogeneration approach of combining a clean, renewable energy source with the desalination process. However, even with energy sources at the site, desalination is highly energy inefficient. Osmotic technologies enable energy recovery during desalination and improve the efficiency of the process.
German startup Salinnova develops innovative osmosis technology for desalination. The SALINO Pressure Center is a 4-in-1 device that integrates an energy recovery device into a high-pressure pump. The startup uses seawater and brackish water RO to boost pressure and recover energy. Further, the use of water-based lubrication also makes it eco-friendly. This product serves the marine and engineering industries, as well as to help implement municipal projects.
What About The Other 26 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 osmosis-based solutions in energy showcased above are promising examples out of 31 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.