MINT can save membrane plants' operating costs

A water quality monitoring system built up and commercialised by a spin-off company from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) could save membrane water treatment or desalination plants up to Sing$ 200,000 (US$ 157,000) per year.

Membrane Instruments & Technology (MINT) is marketing the Memshield system as a 3‑in‑1 system as it can :

  • Monitor water quality in the water treatment process and identify the presence of any bacteria or contaminants
  • Detect any broken membrane filters in the treatment plant
  • Pinpoint which filter is broken - accurate to 1 in 100,000 filters.

  • All water treatment plants using membrane technology are required to be able to perform the three processes to comply with international standards, such as those set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. However, the processes are currently being done separately using different methods.

    Founder and general manager of MINT, Dr Adrian Yeo, an NTU graduate, said automated technology could play a part to increase productivity and reduce cost at the same time. The accurate, real‑time data feed and analysis provided by the system will also give water plant managers crucial insight into their water supplies.

    NTU said on 20 June 2012 that the system would be showcased at the upcoming Singapore International Water Week (1‑5 July 2012).

    It is now being tested by PUB, Singapore's water utility, at the Bedok NEWater Factory and Chestnut Avenue Waterworks. Two large water companies in France and Australia have also recently purchased the system for trial.

    A typical water treatment plant, which processes 200,000 m³/d of water, would require about 10‑12 Memshield units, each costing approximately Sing$ 10,000 (US$ 7,850). This means a short payback period of just six months.

    With the new sales, MINT is expected to make Sing$ 1 million (US$ 785,000) in revenue this year. The young company, founded in 2009 on water sensor technologies developed at NTU's Singapore Membrane Technology Centre, is presently valued at Sing$ 4 million (US$ 3.14 million), double its value from last year.

    MINT has also recently received a new injection of funds from venture capitalist Nanostart Asia Pacific, after it successfully completed its Series A funding in Singapore.


    | Filter | France | Membrane | Singapore

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