Hydrovolts, Halopure and WaterTectonics See Big Opportunities in Water

2/22/11Follow @curtwoodward

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up to 25 kilowatts, which Hamner says is enough to power several U.S. homes or something closer to an entire village in the developing world.

Hydrovolts’ first customer is a company building hydropower projects in northern India, where Hamner sees potential for hundreds of turbines in just one 14-mile Ganges River canal.

Everett, WA-based WaterTectonics is a 12-year-old family business that is suddenly making some big moves in the oil and gas sector.

The company started out as a response to strong stormwater treatment regulations in Washington state, focusing its business on construction sites. When the construction sector tanked a few years ago, WaterTectonics sought other industries that might need its systems for purifying wastewater.

It’s paying off. After two pilot projects in the petroleum sector in 2008, WaterTectonics caught the eye of a little $18-billion-a-year oil-services firm called Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) and recently struck a deal to begin treating some of the company’s industrial water, with expectations for 20 systems this year.

“We went from just a good business to something that was recognized by a Fortune 500 company as something that was ready for commercialization,” sys T.J. Mothersbaugh, the company’s industrial sales manager.

WaterTectonics uses something called electrocoagulation to get the gunk out of industrial water. Pressurized water passes through a tank where electricity is applied, separating contaminants into a sludge that can be filtered away.

It’s actually an old technology—Mothersbaugh says it’s been around for many years, but hasn’t been used on large scales for industry very much until now.

Also on hand at Friday’s panel discussion was Halosource, a company that Xconomy readers will remember from its $80 million IPO in London last fall.

The Bothell, WA-based maker of water-purification technology is continuing a focus on worldwide markets for its drinking water purification technology, with recent deals to supply other companies in India and Brazil.

Halosource’s headline product is Halopure, which uses low-cost cartridges of treated plastic beads to kill viruses and bacteria in water that cause millions of people in poor countries to get sick.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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