MIT membrane start-up completes funding round

The conclusion of an initial round of funding for Clean Membranes Inc, a start-up company based in Lexington, USA, will permit progress on development of a new generation of non-fouling membranes usable for sea and brackish water desalination.

The funding will be used primarily to take the technology, licensed on an exclusive basis from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from laboratory discovery stage to pre-industrial scale- up level. The investment was led entirely by Morningside Venture Investments Limited.

Reenie McCarthy, who will join the Clean Membranes board of directors as Morningside’s designee, said, “We were impressed by Clean Membranes’ innovative chemistry and the potential breadth and scope of its market reach. We look forward to working with the Clean Membranes team to fully realize the potential of this technology.”

Clean Membranes’ proprietary, innovative, high-performance, smart copolymer self- assembles into a hydrophilic membrane saurface. These membranes are inherently anti-fouling and exhibit higher water flow, dramatically improving filter performance and long-term operating life.

Potential applications include municipal, wastewater, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and food industry produced waters, seawater desalination, as well as producing potable water from brackish water and many more purification applications.

The combination of higher membrane permeability and exceptional fouling resistance results in significantly lower manufacturing and operating costs than existing membrane technology, says the company.