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Breakthrough 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 2018.

Microvi Biotechnologies

What is it?

An advanced materials company from California that enhances how microorganisms perform in biological treatment with its wide range of proprietary biocatalysts.

What has it done?

Microvi was the name on everybody’s lips in 2018 as its MicroNiche Engineering solution proved its versatility in both drinking and wastewater treatment applications. A year of successful wastewater pilots with leading utilities in the UK was topped off by the securing of a contract to install a full-scale groundwater nitrate treatment project in California, a second major project that positions biological treatment as a compelling option for handling the world’s most prevalent groundwater contaminant.

What makes it special?

Building on previous success at its Sunny Slope project in California, 2018 saw Microvi’s Denitrovi solution selected by the nearby Cucamonga Valley Water District to remove nitrates from groundwater and secure the drinking water supply for a growing population. Making a total of more than two billion gallons of water a year available once more from three contaminated wells, the solution is the only biological treatment process with NSF certification for drinking water.

As the war on nutrient pollution in water bodies intensifies, Microvi’s technology is proving itself under all weather conditions as a go-to solution for removing nitrogen and phosphorus down to very low levels in incredibly short retention times.


By replacing expensive chemical precipitation processes while generating virtually no biosolids, its solution provides a low-impact solution to one of the world’s most pressing water pollution issues.

Microvi continues to demonstrate the power of its unique materials science expertise for continued challenges the water industry faces, including the removal of hazardous organic compounds such as TCP and removal of high strength ammonia from sludge liquor. It is proving itself a truly disruptive technology in a constantly evolving market.


Typhon Treatment

What is it?

A UK-based pioneer in the use of ultraviolet LEDs for water disinfection and advanced oxidation in municipal applications.

What has it done?

In 2018 Typhon Treatment silenced doubters by scoring a first commercial contract for its UV LED system in municipal drinking water, demonstrating beyond a doubt that the technology can commercially competitive compared to traditional mercury UV lamps. Long thought to be viable only in very small applications, Typhon has dramatically moved the needle through its contract with United Utilities.

What makes it special?

Since the securing of its tie-up with United Utilities, Typhon’s system has been scaled up by a previously unthinkable factor, making units suitable for flows of 250m3/hr. With the client plagued by cryptosporidium outbreaks in recent years, the long-term contract will see Typhon’s system rolled out across the drinking water network, while investigation into wastewater applications is at an advanced stage.

Typhon has changed the game for UV LEDs in the water industry. Once mainly driven by the United Nations Minamata Convention ban on mercury, UV LEDs now have an economic driver to marry with the environmental agenda. With traditional mercury lamps reaching the limits of effectiveness, the transition to solid state UV water treatment has begun.


The company ingeniously overcame worries over a lack of energy efficiency for UV LEDs compared to mercury lamps by devising an innovative optical array which enables large diameter reactors, and therefore high flow rates.