EconoPure Water Systems designs and manufactures highly economical, scalable, low-fouling membrane systems. The Company leverages the patented low-fouling nanofiltration - LFNano(tm) - system consisting of a unique membrane element that is designed to avoid particulate fouling, biofouling, and scaling. As the name suggests, the LFNano utilizes proven nanofiltration (NF) membrane technology and applies patented processes to enhance performance and decrease cost (both capital and operating). The LFNano requires much less pretreatment and little or no process chemicals as compared to typical membrane systems. It provides the exceptional quality treatment associated with membranes, without the hassle of extensive pretreatment systems. Typical applications include; industrial water treatment/reuse (ZLD), zero-waste hydroponic water systems, frack water treatment, drinking water systems, point-of-use, point-of-entry (POU/POE) systems, effluent treatment plants (ETP) and wastewater.
DXV Water Technologies was formed in 2007 to develop water treatment products based on the inventions of Diem X. Vuong. Mr. Vuong has over 40 years in municipal water and wastewater treatment and knows the practical considerations associated with treatment systems.
While he was the Assistant General Manager of the Long Beach Water Department in Southern California, Mr. Vuong invented a dual pass nanofiltration system that was successfully tested by a consortium of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Long Beach Water Department and the US Bureau of Reclamation. Through that experience, Mr. Vuong gained world class experience with nanofiltration membranes. The NF membrane is the cornerstone of the Company’s initial product offering, the LFNano.
EconoPure Water Systems was formed in 2007 to commercialize the water treatment inventions of Diem Vuong, a 40-year water and wastewater industry veteran. Mr. Vuong retired from a senior role at the Long Beach Water Department in Southern California in 2005. The Company began R&D on the DEMWAX (depth-exposed membrane for water extraction), an ultra-low energy, natural pressure seawater desalination system. The DEMWAX system achieved proof of concept but is seeking backers for a full scale plant.
While performing research and development on the DEMWAX, the Company discovered that the necessarily low-fouling nature of the DEMWAX membrane system had significant application in more traditional settings. The low fouling aspects of the DEMWAX were then used to develop the “Low-Fouling Nanofiltration” or LFNano. In 2009 the company tested the first LFNano prototype and in the subsequent three years improved upon that first system dramatically.
The Company has extensive experience with the nanofiltration membrane. Before retiring from the municipal water world, Mr. Vuong developed a process using NF membranes and even patented it on behalf of his municipal employer. That development process gave Mr. Vuong unprecedented exposure to the NF membrane.
Drinking water - Our water is mostly treated by deactivating bacteria and viruses and leaving them in the water we drink. Physically removing these very small ‘contaminants’ has been technically possible for years but expensive to do. EconoPure™ has developed a method to greatly simplify osmotic membrane treatment which can purify water to very high levels by removing the contaminants. The EconoPure™ system makes this high level of treatment affordable and simple.
Industrial water – Water used in industry is often discharged without proper treatment. This often contributes to pollution of our drinking water sources like rivers, lakes or underground aquifers. Industrial water can often be reused in various processes and the technology to do this has existed for years, however at punitive costs discouraging water reuse in most cases. EconoPure™ has developed a system to simplify making pure water.
Wastewater – Natural organic matter so small that it is dissolved in water is difficult to remove and so it is often ‘digested’ or consumed in an aerobic process. However, this process can be upset and an incomplete digestion leaves harmful contaminants in water discharged into the environment or reused. Physical separation with membranes eliminates this issue and EconoPure™ has a process for this that is affordable.
The EconoPure LFNano system is efficient and low cost. Independent cost estimates were prepared by the Water Research Foundation for low pressure membrane systems (micro or ultra-filtration – MF/UF) and a small LFNano system costs less than half that of a similar sized MF/UF membrane system. In addition to the first cost advantage, the LFNano will effectively reject contaminants orders of magnitude smaller than these mechanically complex membrane systems.
Often capital cost advantages come at the expense of operating cost, however the LFNano is less costly to operate than the MF or UF membrane systems. This is due to the lack of moving parts associated with the LFNano. This simplicity reduces maintenance and energy consumption. Again, based on independent estimates for MF/UF membrane systems by the Water Reuse Foundation, we estimate a 50% reduction in the non-labor O&M costs for small systems. As for labor, we estimate that the LFNano can operate unmanned for very long intervals, reducing costs substantially.
Energy – The ‘tighter’ NF membrane is thought of as requiring a lot more energy than the ‘looser’ UF membranes, however that is often not the case. UF systems require significant mechanical energy to process the backwash cycle. Several valves are automatically turned for every backwash. This can cycle as often as every 20 minutes and with as many as seven (7) automated valves actuating each time. This can add significantly to the UF energy requirement. Further, when the LFNano is in RO pre-treatment mode the savings on RO pressure will more than offset the NF power requirements.
Chemicals – The anti-fouling particles allow the membranes to clean simply and quickly, greatly reducing the chemical requirements. Further, the high surface area of the anti-fouling particles means that scaling occurs on the particles and not on the membrane elements, thus reducing the need for anti-scalants.