TOLEDO, Ohio — The University of Toledo has entered into an exclusive agreement with Innovative Water Technologies LLC, created by Dean Giolando, professor of chemistry.
The spin-off company is working to battle the global water shortage with new desalination technology.
“This technology could be used to generate fresh water for municipal, industrial and agricultural use as demand for fresh water continues to rise globally,” said Stephen Snider, UT director of licensing and contracts.
According to www.worldwatercouncil.org, there are about 1 billion people globally without access to safe drinking water, and the supply of fresh water in the United States is dwindling.
The technology also could be used widely in northwest Ohio.
Water from aquifers — underground water pools that wells tap into — may contain impurities such as salt and other pollutants that need to be removed to make the water safe.
Proof of value
Severe droughts in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and many southwestern states also illustrate why the new technology could prove very valuable.
Giolando said the idea came to him when he was working with spray technology. In order to remove the impurities from water, it is sprayed into a heated chamber, where it evaporates and the water molecules separate from the impurities, Giolando explained.
The process then condenses the water molecules. The final result is purified water. Giolando, who has been researching solar technology for 10 years, plans to drive the new desalination process with renewable solar energy.
Not a first
Along with Alan McMaster, Giolando runs another UT spin-off company, Innovative Thin Films Ltd., a solar energy research company, licensed by the university in 2004. Innovative Water Technologies is the third spin-off company to enter into an agreement with the university this year, the most in one year since 2002.