Halosource, Maker of Low-Cost Water Purifying Technology, Cracking Consumer Market In India

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problems in the developing world. PATH is “supportive” of the Halosource technology, and notes it “offers several advantages over traditional iodinated resin or solid chlorine in antimicrobial efficacy and water aesthetics,” said Gena Morgan, a PATH spokeswoman, in an e-mail.

Halosource has also attracted strategic investments in the past from consumer products giant Unilever, the candy company Mars, and most recently, a cleantech investment fund formed by the government of Abu Dhabi, the investment bank Credit Suisse, and the German engineering company Siemens.

It’s taken Halosource some time to focus on drinking water purification. Since its founding in 1998, the company has applied its germ-killing techniques to keep pools and spas clean. Then came storm water. Another foray was with automatically disinfected hospital bed linens. The latest variation are kitchen towels being sold at Wal-Mart that kill bugs, and don’t absorb odors.

“Focus is a challenge,” Kaestle says. “This technology portfolio really can support a number of different products. We’re in the business we choose to be in.”

Halosource will get a better feel within a year for whether water purification in developing countries is truly its biggest opportunity. Partnership talks are ongoing with about 40 different companies or organizations. The company has two applications being reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If the EPA validates Halosource’s safe drinking water technology as good enough to sell in the U.S., it will be a marketing coup the company can point to in other countries. That review is expected to be completed before the end of March, said Clews, the marketing head.

A blessing from the EPA may not put Halosource on the map in Seattle, but it would open the door to a new application that could be a hit in the Northwest. Halosource has worked on plastic water bottles that hikers can dip into lakes or streams, to yield instant purified water, more cheaply and easily than existing filtering products. That sure sounds like something the folks from REI would like to get their hands on.

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