Partnerships and Innovation

Office of Partnerships and Innovation
Office of Partnerships and Innovation

GreenCentre's 'Switchable Water' technology forms basis of new spinoff company

GreenCentre has recently founded its second spinoff company, Forward Water Technologies.

Based on a technology that is part of the "Switchable" platform invented at Queen's University by Dr. Philip Jessop, Forward Water Technologies aims to introduce a greener and more efficient way to desalinate water.
In many areas of the world, fresh water is scarce and desalination of seawater is often the only option available. Currently, the dominant technologies used for desalination are distillation and reverse osmosis, both of which are quite costly and energy intensive.
Forward Water Technologies' green desalination system is capable of purifying water using one of nature's natural driving forces known as osmotic pressure. With their proprietary switchable salt, Forward Water Technologies is able to create an extremely salty solution that is capable of drawing pure water across a membrane without the use of heat or energy.  Once this process is complete, the switchable salt is "switched off," removed from the system and collected again for re-use. This process, driven by forward osmosis, holds the promise of clean water for millions around the world through a desalination process that uses less energy, and is much more cost effective than the incumbent distillation or reverse osmosis-based systems.
Forward Water Technologies is in discussion with early stage investors and is currently engaged with a strategic partner in the water treatment business to further develop the technology. Forward Water aims to install this green desalination process worldwide in areas where fresh drinking water is scarce as well as implementing it as a more efficient way to treat wastewater produced by such processes as enhanced oil recovery and fracking.
"Forward Water is one of those technologies that exemplifies GreenCentre's mandate to change chemistry and change the world," says Dr. Rui Resendes, Executive Director of GreenCentre. "The breakthrough desalination process being developed by Forward Water Technologies has the potential to resolve the myriad of social, environmental and economic challenges tied to the dwindling supply of fresh water."