Oregon BEST has awarded $94,000 in a second round of funding to help advance the LilyPad, a floating, solar-activated stormwater treatment device that can be deployed in retaining ponds and ditches to keep contaminants from reaching streams.
Beaverton, Ore. startup Puralytics has been working with Oregon State University researchers for the past year on small-scale testing of the "LilyPad" technology in campus lab spaces affiliated with OSU's Institute for Water and Watersheds.
The OSU-Benton County Green Stormwater Infrastructure Researc Facility is a shared-user research lab with three large, outdoor tanks where stormwater can be closely monitored and treatment technologies tested.
The LilyPad technology, which resembles a large lily pad and floats just below the surface of standing water, can also be used to pre-treat stormwater, helping reduce overflow situations at municipal treatment facilities during severe weather events.
The technology is based on the company's SolarBag portable drinking water purification system, which uses a nanotechnology-coated mesh activated by sunlight to purify 3-liter quantities of water in approximately three hours. Puralytics is incorporating the same technology into the LilyPad to treat much larger volumes of water.
"There is tremendous industry interest in the LilyPad, but we currently lack the large-scale field test data to commercialize it appropriately," said Mark Owen, CEO of Puralytics. "The Oregon BEST program is unique, financing that difficult gap between lab results and scaled validation field trials required to successfully commercialize a technology."
Puralytics will enter phase II testing through the 2014-2015 rainy season. Tests will span a range of common environmental contaminants over a range of environmental conditions and define performance guidelines such as maximum water depth and required treatment rates per LilyPad.
Four our past coverage of the LilyPad: