Plasma Based Technology for Water Treatment

A. Denvir, M. Howdeshell
NCH Corporation/Chem-Aqua,
United States

Keywords: plasma, water treatment, chemical free, environmental, equipment, marketing


Water scarcity and continued drought conditions have impacted food prices, industrial productivity, and energy production on a global scale. No longer can we treat water as a commodity that is used once then discarded. Today fresh water is treated with chemicals before being used in industrial or agricultural processes, and it is this chemically-laden water that must be reused or recycled to make up the deficit in water availability. Plasma-based technology is seen as a viable alternative to using chemicals for large scale water treatment. Plasma is an ionized gas, a gas into which sufficient energy is provided to free electrons from atoms or molecules and to allow both species, ions and electrons, to coexist. Plasmas are known for their ability to oxidize many organic compounds and for decades scientists have been investigating the use of “cold plasma” for disinfection of hard surfaces, medical devices, and even wounds. However, generating a sustained, reproducible plasma in water has remained elusive and even though there are many academic articles touting the benefits of plasma-based water treatment, none have been reduced to practice. NCH corporation has been granted multiple US and International patents covering methodologies and processes for treating water with plasma as well as patents covering the system components that make it possible for the long term, sustained water treatment. Over the course of 5, years we have conducted multiple field demonstrations using our patented plasma technology for clients who have specific chemical free water treatment requirements. We have successfully shown that chemical free operations for industrial water treatment could be achieved using this technology and demonstrated sustained cost savings through water reuse and water repurposing. Through these field trials we were able to demonstrate the long-term and continuous operation of the patented hardware over several years. This comprehensive patent portfolio provides an intellectual property fence around using plasma for water treatment, creating a significant barrier for any competing plasma-based processes trying to enter this space. NCH Corporation has developed this technology to a point where the feasibility and performance of the design has been validated in the field. We are seeking a strategic partnership with a company or organization that can provide the engineering support and expertise to manufacture a final commercial plasma water treatment system. We envision a licensing arrangement where the strategic partner would manufacture specific equipment for NCH Corporation to use in our existing market, while allowing the strategic partner to utilize the IP to develop and market plasma-based equipment into new market spaces such as oil and gas, water recycling and reuse markets, and direct sales to end user equipment manufacturers in the water treatment space. NCH Corporation would receive royalties based on total sales. As part of the agreement NCH Corporation will provide technical and R&D support to the strategic partner to assist in the commercialization of this technology. When the technology gains significant market share NCH Corporation and the strategic partner will execute an exit plan.