Energy-efficient water purification technology wins European Inventor Award 2014

The Danish entrepreneur and CEO of the global cleantech company Aquaporin, Peter Holme Jensen, has been awarded the prestigious European Inventor Award 2014 for the invention of a water-purifying membrane coated with aquaporins, which purifies water without consuming large amounts of energy.

“This is a big day for our company,” said Peter Holme Jensen at the award ceremony when being presented with the European Inventor Award 2014 in the category ‘Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ for the invention, ‘Membrane for filtering of water’.

“Aquaporin is incredibly proud to have been awarded the Oscar of the patent world. The prize proves how unique the technology is, and that it is capable of competing on the global stage,” he said.

The invention utilises the natural movement of water between individual cells in nature and the characteristics of the proteins facilitating this movement. The proteins, called aquaporins, allow for water to transfer between cell membranes, all the while blocking the passage of contaminants such as salts and minerals. The inventors incorporated this principle into a “biomembrane” technology.

Societal benefit
An estimated 1.5 billion people worldwide have no access to clean drinking water. At the same time, industrial demand not just for clean but specifically ultrapure water (UPW) is steadily increasing. The Aquaporin filters are already providing an energy-efficient method for purifying water into UPW for industrial uses. In the next step, the technology can be applied to large-scale purification plants to desalinate seawater and purify industrial wastewater – a considerable contribution to global drinking water supplies.

The European Inventor Award is one of the most popular distinctions for inventors worldwide. It is the third time in four years that a Danish company has won this prestigious award.

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