Developed in conjunction with KPMG, Imagine Chemistry was launched to help solve real-life chemistry-related challenges and uncover sustainable opportunities for AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals businesses.
From January to March 2017, participants could submit solutions through a dedicated online challenge platform (The platform is now closed for submissions for 2017). Special challenge teams comprised of subject matter experts worked with participants through the platform to enrich and validate their solutions and determine if they are a good fit for AkzoNobel’s business.
An enthusiastic response resulted in more than 200 innovative ideas being submitted by chemistry start-ups, scientists, research groups and students around the world.
A jury made up of AkzoNobel business and R&D leaders and prominent international experts then selected the most promising ideas as finalists. This year’s finals will take place at AkzoNobel’s RD&I Center in Deventer, the Netherlands, from June 1-3, 2017.
Drystill is one of 20 finalists that will be participating at the event. Here is an excerpt from Akzo’s website, in which they describe Drystill’s submission:
“Pass-through distillation for wastewater
Steve Furlong, Drystill, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Challenge area: Wastewater-free chemical sites
Drystill is innovating thermal evaporation technology with its Stripping Absorption Module (SAM), a pioneering heat and mass transfer device. SAM can remove water from almost any stream or water source without heating it or putting it in contact with a drying material.
Conventional thermal evaporation of industrial waste has a high carbon footprint and costs. SAM offers a practical, low cost, low carbon solution that leads to wastewater-free chemical sites. This is achieved by dewatering effluent to produce clean, reusable water and high caloric-value/low-volume liquid residue.
Water vapor is transported to a compartment containing hygroscopic salt solution, which is then dewatered using conventional methods. SAM consumes no external heat or power: evaporation is caused by the exothermic absorption of the effluent vapors into a flow of concentrated brine (such as LiBr). Heat and mass transfer is possible due to the device’s heat pipes that keep the two components separate: the effluent’s vapors only come into contact with the brine upon absorption.
Drystill’s SAM enables toxic effluent to be treated at ambient temperatures (20-30 degrees Centigrade) and low water concentrations (20-30%) to significantly reduce thermally induced fouling and improve environmental viability.”