Miox to market new small scale water purifier

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MIOX Corp will roll out a tiny version of its water-purification system this year that could greatly expand sales worldwide.

It’s designed for small communities, especially in developing countries, and for small-scale commercial operations, said MIOX President and CEO Carlos Perea.

“We’ve got the first 10 pre-production beta units operating in customers’ hands now,” Perea said. “We expect to be in full production in the first quarter of 2012.”

Albuquerque-based MIOX bills its systems as low-cost and environmentally friendly.

Its proprietary technology uses a mix of water and salt shot with an electric current to treat drinking water. The electric mix helps separate the salt into its component parts, sodium and chloride. The resulting oxidant solution is poured into water, where the chloride destroys common pathogens, eliminating the need for chemicals used in other systems.

The system is currently operating at private and public facilities in some 30 countries, including Bogotá, Colombia, where MIOX treats nearly 100 percent of the water consumed by city residents.
But the system has proven too large and costly for tiny communities in developing countries, such as Mexico, where MIOX has focused a lot of its marketing efforts, Perea said.

The company’s distribution partner for Latin America, Quimiproductos S.A. de C.V., worked with MIOX to sell the system in about 1,200 small communities in Mexico’s far southern state of Chiapas. But the system was too big and expensive for about 1,000 of those villages, which often had 200 people or fewer.

“We had customers excited about what we were doing, but even our smallest systems were still too large for them,” Perea said.

In response, MIOX designed its new unit specifically for tiny villages, and for use in things like swimming pools or small-scale food and beverage operations. It sells for a couple of thousand dollars.
“It’s our lowest priced system by far, and it’s much simpler and easier to use,” Perea said. “It’s designed to be operated by people without experience. It uses solar power and can run for six months with no intervention.”

About 50 percent of MIOX’s revenue comes from exports, and about 75 percent of that comes from sales in Latin America, where the smaller systems could increase demand.

“We expect it to greatly expand our markets,” Perea said.

MIOX builds its water purification systems at a 64,000-square-foot facility near Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park.

The company has received nearly $50 million in venture capital from Flywheel Ventures Flywheel Ventures Latest from The Business Journals Top Newsmakers: Venture capitalists upheld ‘new normal’ in 2011New water quality technologies make wavesMIOX Corp.’s water treatment flows into foreign markets Follow this company and other private equity firms since forming in 1994.

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