Waste heat powered Forward Osmosis for water re-use and desalination

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Supporting hydrogen production, enhanced oil recovery EOR, by water re-use, and desalination using industrial waste heat

Page last modified
September 11 2023

Waterwhelm has developed a patented Forward Osmosis (FO) technology for water reuse and desalination, validated through our pilot plant at a Veolia Wastewater Treatment Works, in Seafield, Edinburgh. The technology operates at low pressures (2-4 bar) and is powered by waste heat, therefore, in comparison with reverse osmosis (RO), our FO technology uses 80% less electricity and 35% less CAPEX, realising a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. The product water can be used as potable or industrial water supply. Waterwhelm will implement this technology across many wastewater treatment and desalination sites, and other sectors such as hydrogen production, power plants, chemical plants and refineries, to utilise waste heat in the context of zero-waste, circular economy and contribute to achieving net-zero emissions globally.


Low carbon footprint
Much more efficient than RO in terms of CAPEX and OPEX
Reduced membrane fouling, and chemical cleaning costs
Currently TRL6, TRL 8 (late 2023)
New innovation product
Unplugs industrial sites from local water / electrical networks
Used for desalination to support hydrogen production, desalination or water re-use at industrial sites


Operating Pressure 2-4 bar
Required waste heat temperature 100 degC

Relative Business Impact


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Technology Readiness Level


Development Technology demonstration Mature / Proven
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Waterwhelm is an award-winning company commercialising a membrane technology (protected by patents) for wastewater treatment, desalination and dewatering applications. The company was founded in 2018 in Scotland and includes a team of experienced engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs and advisors leading a major technological leap to reinvent water supply.

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