Dismayed by current ways to desalinate seawater, Robert McGinnis developed a more efficient process.
It’s mind-blowing to think about the fact that over 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by water, but almost none of it is in a drinkable state.
While Robert McGinnis was in the Navy, he learned a little about how much energy is needed to remove the salt from seawater. “I was appalled that you’d burn fuel in order to produce pure water,” he says.
But rather than “curse the dark,” McGinnis decided to light a candle. Over the next few years, he filed three patents, literally attempting to change the way desalination takes place all around the globe.
He’s taken the first step in doing just that.
Rather than using technology to force nature to work against itself (reverse osmosis, one of the most common desalination methods, causes water to work against its natural tendency), McGinnis innovated a way to purify water by leveraging its natural chemical properties.
Reversing the process commonly used today, he’s created “forward osmosis.” Talk about thinking outside the box!
McGinnis co-founded Oasys Water in 2009. He raised $10 million from three venture capital firms to commercialize the technology. Oasys plans to start taking orders in late this year.
“Forward osmosis is on the verge of becoming a buzzword,” says Tom Pankratz, director of the International Desalination Association. “Oasys has a clever approach. … It could potentially be used not only for seawater desalination but also treating wastewater.”
Find out more about Robert McGinnis, Oasys Water, and their breakthrough processes, read Caroline Winter’s “Innovator” article on Businessweek.
Filed Under: Gamechangers
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