GE and water technology developer memsys clearwater Pte. Ltd. entered into an agreement to jointly develop membrane distillation (MD) technology for the fast-growing unconventional resources marketplace, including shale gas, coal seam gas and other unconventional fuels recovered by hydraulic fracturing.
Under the terms of the agreement, GE will invest in testing the technology and in return receive an exclusive license for the use of the technology in these applications. memsys is based in both Germany and Singapore.
GE’s extensive experience in thermal and membrane system design and its extended research capabilities through GE Global Research, make GE a unique partner for memsys and its MD technology. For both companies, this agreement is spurred by the belief that the memsys MD technology is ideally positioned to support the rapid development of unconventional resource projects around the world and meet the rising demand for cost-effective water treatment technologies to reduce the environmental impacts of these types of projects.
MD is a low-cost brine concentration technology that can replicate the conventional thermal evaporation process while using less energy and lowering the cost and the carbon footprint of evaporation. Decreasing energy consumption not only saves money and increases efficiency but also reduces emissions and has less of an impact on the environment.
“We are excited to work with GE in the unconventional resources segment,” said Gotz Lange, CEO of memsys. “GE is a technical innovator in the global water and power generation industries, which makes them a great partner to commercialize our MD technology for unconventional resource applications.”
Memsys has developed a multi-effect MD process in which conventional thermal process engineering has been transferred into an industrial design. As a thermal technology, memsys’ MD technology is suited to treat high saline produced waters found in unconventional resources production. Additionally, as a membrane technology, it is compact, modular and energy efficient.
“memsys is the first company to develop a commercially viable, scalable solution for large projects using MD technology,” said Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “Their technical expertise, combined with our own water technology leadership and business presence in the unconventional resource segment, make our agreement with memsys a unique, exciting collaboration.”
GE’s collaboration with memsys was conducted through GE’s ecomagination Accelerator program. The $20 million ecomagination Accelerator program, a spin-off from the $200 million ecomagination challenge, is designed to scale offerings of leading start-up companies through GE as a global growth platform.
Both GE (Booth #P02) and memsys (Booth #J29) will be exhibiting their latest products July 1-5 at Singapore International Water Week, one of the world’s preeminent professional meetings for water treatment solutions in the world.