Feb 18, 2015

California Energy Commission Proposes Awards for Demonstration Projects

The proposed awards will help fund pilot demonstrations of advanced forward osmosis water treatment systems throughout the state

California Energy Commission Porifera reverse osmosis forward osmosis

Porifera Inc., a Bay Area startup focused on developing advanced systems for water treatment, was recommended by the California Energy Commission (CEC), for proposed awards totaling $5.7 million. The proposed awards are for pilot demonstration testing with a variety of customers in California's industrial, agricultural and water sectors.

The first demonstration project, titled "Water and Energy Savings Utilizing Innovative Forward Osmosis Systems for Irrigation and Wastewater Reuse" has been selected for a proposed award of $3.2 million. This project will pilot Porifera's novel PFO Recycler system. The PFO Recycler is an energy-efficient hybrid forward-osmosis-plus-reverse-osmosis system that generates purified water streams for reuse as process water or for irrigation.

The second demonstration project, titled "Water and Energy Savings through Osmotic Concentration of Products and Waste in Food and Beverage Industry" has been selected for a proposed award of $2.5 million. This project will pilot Porifera's PFO Concentrator System. The PFO Concentrator is based on Porifera's proprietary PFO+ROX technology and is an energy-efficient, low-cost way to match the performance of an evaporator while generating purified water streams for high purity reuse.

"The awards enable us to demonstrate the technology in key markets while we negotiate additional funding with investors who have been contacting us," said Porifera CEO Olgica Bakajin. "In light of the ongoing drought, we are grateful that the CEC recognizes the importance of this type of work."

Porifera's proposals were selected by the CEC from a field of 49 candidate proposals. Of the 49 proposals, eight were selected for proposed funding, for a total award funding level of $27 million. Porifera was the only entity selected for more than one award. 

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