SARNIA, Ontario - As previously announced, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) made an investment in Forward Water Technologies (FWT) through BIC’s Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation (COMM SCI), which acts as a hub for the commercialization of sustainable chemistry and bio-based innovation.

With this investment, FWT has now located the micro-pilot-unit (MPU), a pre-commercial development scale-up of a proprietary forward osmosis technology, at The Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park in Sarnia, Ontario. This fully scalable engineering skid will allow FWT to collect the critical operational information which can be in turn used in the field. Using this data and additional funding from Alberta Innovates and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), FWT will execute on a commercial scale field trial near Airdrie Alberta.

“Alberta Innovates sees potential in this technology to improve water re-use at lower cost within the oil and gas industry while significantly reducing the amount of wastewater sent to disposal,” says Richard Nelson, Program Director, Oil Sands Tailings, Alberta Innovates.

This project has just been initiated and FWT anticipates being “on the ground” in the summer of 2019 just outside of Calgary. Nonetheless, the equipment being installed in Sarnia is critical to that project as it will allow us to model the process and potentially train operators ahead of the field tests.

“Sarnia-Lambton fully supports solutions for oils and water issues. We believe that it is a nice synergy between Alberta Innovates and BIC to enable FWT to provide those solutions that we need,” says Sandy Marshall, Executive Director of BIC.

The micro-pilot-unit (MPU) was built to study FWT’s proprietary forward osmosis process; develop new and more efficient means for completing the process; and to serve as a testing facility for applications and client tests ahead of commercial scale activities.

“This fully scalable process skid shows how our proprietary forward osmosis process can efficiently remove pure water from highly contaminated waste water streams,” says C. Howie Honeyman, Chief Executive Officer, Forward Water Technologies. “Typically, these waste streams are so heavily contaminated with salts and dissolved minerals they are sent for deep well disposal which is costly and permanently removes the water from the water cycle or are boiled to dryness which is expensive, energy intensive, and creates a huge GHG footprint."

This process eliminates these draw backs and creates fresh water for re-use, surface release, or even agricultural needs. FWT will ultimately be able to send the clean water for portable applications.

“It has been great working with BIC, Lambton College and The Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park. These organizations all have the willingness to participate in innovation and the development of new technologies and approaches,” says Howie.

For more information please contact:

C. Howie Honeyman
Chief Executive Officer
Forward Water Technologies


A.J. Sandy Marshall
Executive Director
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada

About Forward Water Technologies:

Forward Water Technologies, a GreenCentre Canada spinoff company, is revolutionizing fresh water productionthrough an inexpensive, low-energy desalination and demineralization approach that uses switchable salt to purify water. This technology will allow for the economical treatment of highly saline and mineralized water that cannot be treated effectively today, including difficult-to-treat wastewater in the resource sector while providing a fresh-water stream that can be recycled into operations, leading to both a reduction in total water costs and environmental footprint.
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Twitter: @Forward_Water
Facebook: /ForwardWaterTechnologies
Media Contact: Howie Honeyman, CEO,

About Bioindustrial Innovation Canada:

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) is a nationally focused not-for-profit organization based in Sarnia, Ontario. The Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation (COMM SCI) acts as a hub for the commercialization of sustainable chemistry and biobased innovation, providing businesses and technical support to participating small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in southern Ontario. COMM SCI was established with support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and additional support from the Government of Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science. BIC creates jobs and economic value sustainably for Canada. We provide critical strategic investment, advice and services to business developers of clean, green and sustainable technologies. Our expertise in commercialization builds a stronger Canada.
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Twitter: @BICSarnia
Facebook: /BioindustrialInnovationCanada
LinkedIn: Bioindustrial-Innovation-Canada

Alberta Innovates:

Alberta Innovates is a provincially funded corporation with a mandate to deliver 21st-century solutions for the most compelling challenges facing Albertans. We do this by building on our province’s research and technology development strengths in the core sectors of health, environment, energy, and food and fibre, and platforms such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and omics. We are working with our partners to diversify the provincial economy, improve environmental performance and enhance Albertans’ well-being through research and innovation.
For more information visit:

About Sustainable Development Technology Canada:

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is a foundation created by the Government of Canada to advance clean technology innovation in Canada by funding and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises developing and demonstrating clean technology solutions.

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