Salinity Solutions
Tyseley Energy Park
Fordrough
Yardley
Birmingham
B25 8DW
Tel: 01216 636 536

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Batch RO Patent Granted in US

We have just received confirmation that our first Batch RO patent has been granted in the US, joining the EU and China which were granted in December last year. Four further patent applications are going through the approval stages, adding further territories to the list.

Having patents granted in key territories, like the US, is an important milestone for Salinity to be able to enforce our rights of invention, as we look to license our technology around the globe.

Team Profile: Steve Wheelhouse

Please join us in welcoming Steve Wheelhouse as our new Head of Finance.

Steve has nearly 30 years of commercial and hands-on Finance leadership experience gained in the UK and internationally. In addition to key Finance roles at Ford and Lloyds Bank, Steve spent 24 years at IBM, working as CFO/FD in multiple business units completing international leadership assignments in France, Switzerland, and the UAE.

He led Finance for IBM’s hardware business in Northern Europe, was FD for IBM’s Global Technology Services business in the UK and Ireland, and headed up Finance across all of IBM’s business in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and Pakistan. He was also Head of Finance for Visa Inc. in the Middle East and Africa. Steve has worked extensively with business partners, developers, and FinTech companies and has shifted focus to providing FD support to SMEs.  

Steve has a track record of delivering significant improvements in profitability, driving business transformation, and building effective Finance organisations.

First Patent Granted

We’re very pleased to announce the granting of our first patent. After more than two years in the examination phase, our initial patent has been granted in China, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, and the UK without challenge. Four further patent applications are going through the approval stages, adding further territories to the list.

We anticipate the next approval in 2024. As we look to license our technology around the globe, having patents granted in key territories is an important milestone for Salinity to be able to enforce our rights of invention.

Team Profile: Peter Hillis

We would like to welcome Peter Hillis to the Salinity Solutions Advisory Board. Peter is a water and wastewater treatment expert who has worked globally on projects including research and development, strategic planning, feasibility and concept design, detailed design and commissioning and operational optimisation.

Peter is well respected internationally and brings with him access to a global network of world-leading independent experts. He has published many papers in peer-reviewed journals as well as presenting at international conferences and workshops. Peter was part of a select group that presented technical information to the Badenoch and Bouchier Committees on Cryptosporidium in Drinking Water and he has represented United Utilities in dealings with the Drinking Water Inspectorate and the UK Environment Agency on both technical and strategic matters. Peter is currently based in Melbourne, Australia.

Pioneering Kent vertical farm to host food sector’s first trial of revolutionary water-purification technology

Press Release

GrowUp Farms, owner of the Kent based pioneering vertical farm Pepperness, will shortly start the food sector’s first trial of a new, disruptive technology which dramatically reduces the environmental footprint of water treatment.

Salinity Solutions’ ground-breaking batch reverse osmosis technology – the first in the world to be manufactured commercially – could have a major impact on reducing wastewater, not only in the food sector but in many other sectors around the world, helping to solve the emerging global water crisis.

GrowUp Farms, which launched its Unbeleafable salad range in Tesco stores this summer, is already a keen advocate of sustainability. Pepperness benefits from state-of-the-art technology to create perfect growing conditions inside to grow food, which is better for the environment as it not only uses less water, but the salad also lasts longer, resulting in less waste.

The trial with Salinity Solutions aims to demonstrate how efficiently wastewater can be captured, purified to the highest food standards and reused at Pepperness, so GrowUp can use even less water and reduce its impact on the planet even further.

GrowUp Farms Impact Director Gillon Dobie said “Producing more food with less resources is central to our philosophy, no more so than when it comes to our water use. We’re already making great strides to conserve this precious resource at Pepperness but we’re striving to get even better. We’re delighted to be working with Salinity Solutions on this trial, which we hope will make a big difference to improving our positive impact.”

Globally, demand for water is set to double over the next five years. Water treatment consumes 4% of the world’s total electricity production and conventional reverse osmosis* systems are traditionally energy intensive. Crucially, Salinity Solutions’ technology uses half the energy of existing systems while recovering up to 98% of clean water, while it is also compact and easily transportable.

Salinity Solutions’ co-founder Liam Burlace added: “We’re very grateful to GrowUp Farms for allowing us to demonstrate our technology in the food sector and hope this trial marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration with them. Our shared goal is to reduce the consumption of energy and water so the results of this trial could have a significant impact on how the food industry manages its resources.”

Funding for the trial at Pepperness in Kent (coincidentally one of the driest UK counties) has been secured through a £29,000 sustainability grant from Growing Kent and Medway’s ‘Business Sustainability Challenge’ grant, which addresses key sustainability issues and opportunities. GrowUp Farms was one of 13 beneficiaries of a grant pot worth more than £1.6 million to fund projects in the region that will sustainably transform the horticultural and plant-based food and drink supply chain.

Dr Nikki Harrison, Programme Director for Growing Kent & Medway, said:

“We are investing in real-world business innovation and research projects that demonstrate how science-led, sustainable innovation can be deployed throughout the supply chain. This not only benefits the environment by helping Kent businesses become more sustainable but also stimulates economic growth. Fresh thinking can help create new revenue streams and new markets from waste by-products and processes. “While these projects demonstrate the exciting innovation happening in Kent and Medway, we expect the knowledge that is gained to help transform our food systems throughout the sector.”

– ENDS –

Notes to editor:  *Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a process where water purified by pumping it through a semi-permeable membrane. Conventional RO uses a lot of energy as the pumping energy is lost when the water passes through the membrane. Salinity Solutions’ technology more than halves the energy used through a patented combination of a pressure exchange vessel and advanced recirculation control, developed from theory to reality over 10 years of research at the Universities of Birmingham and Aston.

Media Contact
Sophie Banks / Angie Cronin, Loudbird PR and Communications
07815 147073 / 07970 810302  [email protected]

About GrowUp Farms

  • GrowUp Farms was founded by Kate Hofman and Tom Webster in 2013 and is a pioneer in UK vertical farming.  
  • GrowUp Farms grows its salads in a controlled environment, where the climate provides the plants with perfect conditions. This means it can grow to the best standard all year round and is
    resilient to climate change.
  • GrowUp Farms was the first vertical farm to introduce a branded salad into a supermarket chain in the UK with the launch of Fresh Leaf Co. in Iceland stores across the country in February of 2023 and the Unbeleafable range in Tesco in July 2023.
  • GrowUp Farms’ vertical farm, Pepperness, is near Sandwich, Kent. It combines innovative farming technology with renewable energy, using electricity and waste heat from the bioenergy plant next door, which means the farm is not affected by the energy price increases squeezing greenhouse and conventional farmers in the UK.
  • GrowUp Farms is B Corp certified with a high B Impact Score of 104.7 points, against the pass threshold of 80 points. The score reflects GrowUp Farms’ commitment to the high standards set by B Corp to achieve social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability in all areas of the business as well as contributing to the economic and social well-being of the communities that GrowUp Farms operates in, alongside a commitment to environmental causes.

About Salinity Solutions
Salinity Solutions addresses the two biggest challenges in sustaining human life on earth – water and energy. The University of Birmingham spin-out, established in 2021, has developed a game-changing batch reverse osmosis water purification technology, which uses half the energy of traditional methods. Its patented, commercially viable solution has been described as the biggest step forward in water treatment in 50 years and has the potential to benefit every corner of the globe – from industrial wastewater clean-up and high value mineral extraction to rural drinking water. http://www.salinitysolutions.co.uk/

Media Contact for Salinity Solutions
Jane Griffin +44 7767 642930
[email protected]

About Growing Kent & Medway
Growing Kent & Medway is supported by UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund. It is a world-class research, innovation and enterprise cluster that connects businesses in the region to support innovation and to establish the area as a world-leader in sustainable horticultural food and drink production.

www.growingkentandmedway.com @GrowingKent_Med

We Have Moved!

We’re going back to our roots! Salinity Solutions has moved back to Birmingham, where the company originated as a University of Birmingham spinout after the technology was pioneered by our CTO Tim Naughton and Professor Philip Davies (Professor of Water Technology). Salinity Solutions’ new office at Tyseley Energy Park incorporates a purpose-built workshop and it sits alongside the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre (BEIC), part of the University of Birmingham Energy Institute.

What’s the problem with P? 

What’s the problem with P? 

Nothing can live without P (Phosphorus). Not we humans, nor animals, nor plants.  

Phosphorus is needed for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells, and for the production of the genetic building blocks, DNA and RNA.  

However, the Earth’s supply of phosphorus is finite. At current consumption levels, we will run out of known phosphorus reserves in around 80 years, but consumption rates are set to increase. 

Nearly 90% of phosphorus is used in the global food supply chain, most of it in crop fertilizers. Too much phosphorus in our natural world can cause increased growth of algae and large aquatic plants (eutrophication), which can produce toxins which can be harmful to human and animal health. 

In terms of wastewater treatment there are two main phosphorus removal techniques – biological and chemical. In the case of biological, microorganisms are grown in the water which absorb and store phosphorus as polyphosphate. The phosphorus is bound into the biomass which is then separated from the treated water at the end of the process. 

For chemical treatment, a metal salt, most commonly iron, is added to precipitate ortho-phosphate. The precipitate forms as a solid and is removed. 

Our Batch Reverse Osmosis system offers water companies a new, high efficiency and most importantly, chemical-free, solution to extract residual phosphorus from wastewater and prevent it from entering the environment. The P-rich permeate can then be processed into fertiliser products to be applied in areas where soil nutrient is low. 

 
If you would like to hear more about this process, please get in touch [email protected]  

Sources: 

https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/phosphorus#:~:text=Phosphorus%20is%20needed%20for%20the,iodine%2C%20magnesium%2C%20and%20zinc.

http://web.mit.edu/12.000/www/m2016/finalwebsite/solutions/phosphorus.html#:~:text=At%20current%20consumption%20levels%2C%20we,of%20it%20in%20crop%20fertilizers

https://www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys/indicators-phosphorus#:~:text=Too%20much%20phosphorus%20can%20cause,to%20human%20and%20animal%20health.

Team Profile: Tim Naughton

Our last team profile to share with you (for now) is our Co-Founder and Technical Director, Tim Naughton.

Salinity Solutions was co-founded in 2021 by Tim, who wanted to provide a more sustainable solution, in a world where 40% of the population live with insufficient water supply, and the demand for water is set to double in the next 25 years. He has been involved with RO technology for the last 10 years, first getting involved with the Salinity technology as part of his engineering degree final year project.

Tim now leads all technology development at Salinity and is also the main external face of the business. He is already well connected and respected throughout the industry, regularly presenting at events and conferences.

Tim’s career highlight is Salinity Solutions as a whole, turning a research project into an award-winning business and building a strong and experienced team.

Outside of work Tim’s family is very important to him and he loves travelling, snowboarding, and cooking.

Team Profile: Jim Gilroy

We hope you are enjoying finding out more about our talented individuals who have turned 10 years of academic research into a ground-breaking water treatment product, with the potential to impact the water treatment industry on a global scale, helping to Treat Water Better. 

This week we are focusing on our Head of Market Development, Jim Gilroy.

Despite holding a Chemistry Degree from Swansea University, Jim’s career path has been sales and marketing, first training in sales in Massachusetts before joining Ogilvy & Mather in London. Later he founded an international marketing agency based in Amsterdam and London to serve automotive, technology and space clients.  

At its heart his agency helped engineering-led businesses to expand their focus beyond their technology and products and instead put the needs of the customer at the core of their marketing. Jim sold the business in 2021 and joined the Salinity team where he is keen to help generate rapid growth.

Career highlights include the rebrand of cycling’s Team Sky and winning the client account of the UK’s largest private company (INEOS). Outside of work Jim loves walking in the countryside with his dogs, spending time with his family, reading and snowboarding. 

We Are Two Years Old!

Time flies! We’re officially two years old. So much has happened in the past two years – fundraising, field trials, new members of the team. Check out our progress in this quick snapshot!  

Salinity Solutions Timeline