Inopsys: valuable water

  • Infrastructure projects
  • Start-ups & scale-ups
  • Clean tech & industrials
  • Growth

Inopsys’ wastewater treatment plants are unique: thanks to the combination of various techniques, the scale-up manages to purify difficult-to-process wastewater (with a focus on the pharmaceutical and fine chemical sectors) as well as recycle the valuable elements from it.

In a world struggling with water scarcity and water pollution, clean water is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, it is valuable to stop considering the toxic ‘by-products’ of industrial processes as waste (and transporting and incinerating them) and instead view them as a product that can indeed be recycled and reused. Inopsys – a spin-off from KULeuven – developed technology to purify those water streams and extract the valuable substances. For instance, Inopsys is able to recycle palladium; a kilo of it has a market price that hovers as much as around 60,000 euros.

But pure water (which can be reused in business processes) is also the result of Inopsys’ modular plants, which it develops, builds at customers’ premises (in containers), finances and maintains. The company is also investigating solutions for, among other things, the ever-increasing pharmaceutical compounds in the environment and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Inopsys already proved its capabilities at Janssen Pharmaceutica (3 operational installations and 1 under construction) with, among other things, an installation to extract zinc from waste water: a breakthrough and a showpiece for the scale-up, which aims to launch about five projects a year in the coming years.

Because it has to pre-finance those projects and the revenues only come in later, extra capital was needed to accelerate growth. PMV, a shareholder since VMH’s contribution to PMV, participated in the capital increase in late 2020 to scale up the water purifier and further roll out the proven technology commercially. It is already looking at Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and France.

Visit the website of Inopsys