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Breakthrough Water Technology Company of the Year

For the early-stage technology company which made the most impressive commercial breakthrough into the global water technology market in 2016.

Water Planet

What is it?

The developer of innovative low-pressure and high-pressure membrane solutions for tough-to-treat feedwaters.

What has it done?

2016 saw Water Planet arm itself with a world-class sales team, forge several strategic alliances, and bring two game-changing technologies to the market: an artificial intelligence-based membrane control system (IntelliFlux) and PolyCera, a membrane with ceramic-like performance but at the cost of a polymeric. As part of a three-year, 100-unit deal with an OEM, the company sold its first two units to leverage the virtues of each technology to brilliant effect on off-grid domestic wastewater.

What makes it special?

The PolyCera membrane brings a formidable new player into the low-pressure membrane market: in 2016, Water Planet achieved product sales in the US, Canada, China and India. PolyCera, based on Nobel Prize-winning chemistry, offers high hydrophilicity, permeability, and the robustness of a ceramic membrane, but at the price point of a polymeric. This is a compelling new proposition for clients with tough-to-treat waters who are unwilling to splash out on high-cost ceramics.

In 2016, Water Planet made its first US sale of an IntelliFlux-powered ultrafiltration system as part of a three-year, 24-unit deal with Air Liquide. The IntelliFlux software offers an AI-based adaptive flux optimisation control mechanism for membrane systems, which performs real-time monitoring and data analytics to fully optimise performance, significantly reducing operational costs.


Water Planet’s successes have been nurtured by a laser-sharp focus on innovation, as well as teamwork and a culture where every employee is encouraged to put their ideas forward. Founded only five years ago, the company has made a mockery of the traditional protracted technology commercialisation process in the water sector.



What is it?

An Israeli developer of membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology – a low-energy alternative to the traditional activated sludge process for wastewater treatment.

What has it done?

Emefcy was an unstoppable force in 2016, leading the charge in the low-energy wastewater treatment revolution, completing installations in Israel, China and the US Virgin Islands within the first year of introducing its new MABR product. It also successfully closed an equity placement of A$31.6 million as it ramps up its global commercial activity.

What makes it special?

Throughout 2016, Emefcy signed deployment partnerships with no fewer than four large engineering firms across China, giving it unrivalled access to a market where an extensive build-out of rural wastewater treatment plants will play into the hands of Emefcy’s modular, decentralised system.

Emefcy’s MABR addresses two perennial pain points for clients: it offers up to 90% reduction in energy requirements for aeration in wastewater treatment, as well as eliminating the need for an external carbon source in the nitrification-denitrification process.


The commissioning of the facility for a rural community on the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands will showcase the suitability of the technology for resorts and municipalities in a region where the cost of electricity is on average four times higher than in richer nations. It will also serve as a crucial reference site for Emefcy’s expansion into the US market, where it has secured its first pilot facility in California.

The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

Evoqua logo, links to Evoqua homepage