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Frost & Sullivan presented its 2005 Technology Innovation of the Year Award in the field of advanced water treatment technologies to Pionetics Corporation for its creation of a unique drinking water purification system based on its patented LINX ion-exchange membrane technology.
Initially marketed in a point-of-use drinking water system for households, Pionetics' technology uses one-tenth the wastewater of conventional (reverse osmosis) systems, works well at low water pressures and requires no under-sink storage tank. In addition, the product features a Dial-a-Taste feature that enables users to adjust the taste of purified water by leaving in some of the taste-enhancing minerals.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to a company that has carried out new research, which has resulted in innovations that have brought or are expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change and competitive posture.
"Pionetics' proprietary ion-exchange membrane technology selectively removes priority pollutants in drinking water such as arsenic, nitrate and other harmful ions and softens water without the addition of salt or other harmful chemicals," says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Miriam Nagel. "This technology makes it possible to cost-effectively deliver drinking water systems in the areas where low water pressure is typically a concern, and thereby helps stop the spread of waterborne disease in underdeveloped countries."
The LINX technology has many advantages over competing reverse osmosis point-of-use systems and is cost competitive. The LINX system provides electrically regenerable ion exchange rather than using salt or other chemicals. Where a reverse osmosis system wastes up to ten gal for each useful gal of purified water, the LINX system wastes less than one gal.
The LINX system also has a flow rate of two liters/minute, thus eliminating the need for a tank to store water and saving space where the unit is installed (usually under a sink). Significantly, low water pressure does not pose a problem for LINX -- the deionization technology actually works better at low pressures.
Although the new-to-market LINX system is designed for point-of-use residential applications, Pionetics' technology for water purification can also be used in commercial and industrial applications.
"Investors have confidence in the technology -- with over $11 million raised in venture funds from seven firms, the Pionetics' innovative LINX technology has entered the market," notes Nagel. "Interestingly, although the technology is new to the market, it has been developed and tested in laboratories for ten years."