New, Chemical-Free Way To Clean Water Developed In Israel

By Tal Hefer & Tzachi Zamir May 21, 2011 Comments

For most of us who grew up in developed countries, clean water is a given, not something we’ve ever given much thought. Yet in the United States alone, an estimate of 7 million tons of chemicals are being used in order to clean water every year. What effect do these chemicals have on our bodies and on the environment?

Yael Glikman, CEO of Kolmir Water Technologies, asked herself what is the best, most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to clean water. “There are many ways to clean drinking water, using chemicals, filters, magnetic resonance etc.  The most conventional and common system is the use of different chemicals in order to purify the water. Among those chemicals used for purification you can find Alum, Iron, Polymer and Chlorine,” she explained.

The problem with chemicals, according to Glikman, is they create a constant cycle of pollution and purification, as the chemicals are needed to remove sediment that usually finds itself in water and in turn, the chemicals need to be cleaned.  Chemicals like Alum (Aluminum) can be toxic in a certain quantities and sometimes even cause bone diseases and stress, according to the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration.

“In addition,” Glikman told NoCamels, “[the current cleaning process] is “a waist of energy. The conventional way uses a lot of electricity to create an aggregation of the polluted particles inside the water, in order to clean the water.”

Kolmir, established in 2009, came up with a new way to purify water, by using natural resources, rather than chemicals.

“In order to clean water you need to separate the particles inside the water and sometimes that process is very difficult because it is hard to sink the particles,” Glikman explained.

Kolmir therefore created an acoustic filter that makes sound waves inside the water. The transducers, which transform a small amount of electricity in to sound, send sound waves through the water tank, separating the particles. In addition, the waves help the particles aggregate and sink and that makes it easier to clean the water. “We use the physics of sound, and thus build a ‘standing wave’ inside the water,” said Glikman.

Kolmir says its system can significantly reduce costs: “Using a unique ultrasonic generator, significant reaction is obtained within the water which enables to reduce operating cost by more than 30%.” Another problem with water purification is the need to rewash the water filters, said Glikman. Kolmir technology allows the dirty particles to sink before they stick to the filters using the transducers vibrations, therefore eclipsing the need to rewash the filters.

Kolmir was founded and developed by Professor Yuri Kolodny, an expert in clean water technologies, as part of Kinrot Ventures, an Israeli incubator which supports startups in the clean water sector.

Photo By Chong Zhao

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