Member - Novalife-H2O

Enhanced-Multi Effect Thermal Separation (E-METS) is a thermal water separation technology for desalination purposes.

Type Startup or self-employed
Founder 2019
Company Size 3
Member Type
Founders Chin Lee Ong
Headquarters 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Social network


The Problem: The world is currently experiencing an imminent water scarcity crisis. ‘Water’ is the ‘Essence of Life’. Current trends indicate that two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed countries by 2025, with water scarcity issues becoming more severe due to urban migration, population growth and environmental pollution from industrial activities. Current state-of-the-art water separation technologies are very energy intensive, demonstrates low water recovery performance and is incapable of treating high salinity wastewater. This results in high maintenance, capital expenditure and operational costs. At present, there are no commercially available standalone systems that are capable of treating high salinity brine/effluents from desalination or industrial processes. The Innovation: Our novel ‘hybrid’ thermal water separation technology, E-METS adapt proven flow boiling - evaporative cooling principles used in state-of-the-art nuclear power plants for thermal separation, the first of its kind for desalination and Industrial Wastewater Treatment applications. The system also implements multiple heat recovery stages for feed preheating and re-vaporization to increase overall system efficiency and minimize energy consumption. The technology is modular and can accommodate desirable production capacity according to specific requirements. Elementary modules interchangeability ensures minimum technical expertise requirements, low operational downtime and low maintenance costs. This results in significant capital and operational cost savings for the end-user. The Product: The E-METS system performs desalination below atmospheric pressure, boiling the saline feed at ~70 - 80C. The system comprises multiple distillation modules with integrated enhanced flow boiling tubes, titanium heat exchanger devices and hydrophobic polymeric membranes for water separation. The system demonstrates excellent salt rejection capability, i.e. > 99.97% salt rejection, to produce ultrapure distillate while maintaining energy saving levels of up to 70% against state-of-the-art. The Unique Selling Proposition: E-METS will allow customers what they are not capable of achieving today. These include: • Treatment of high saline feed, i.e. up to 4X higher than conventional desalination technologies. • Lower CAPEX and OPEX for desalination and industrial wastewater treatments. • Supports Zero Liquid Discharge (negligible liquid waste) from industrial operations. • Utilizing low grade ‘waste’ heat and generating value in the water-energy-waste nexus. • High modular with small footprint. Easy to be containerized for high mobility deployments. Intellectual Property: The E-METS technology is patented by EPFL as PCT/IB2017/051497, WO2017158526A1 with positive opinion in the international search report. The IP entered national phases in September 2018 and filing for protection has been initiated in the U.S.A, the European Union and China. Market and Customer Segments: Our product will be tendered to industrial end-user, leading technology, engineering and utility companies to support their business activities and service offerings. The technology brings value to a wide range of market segments. This includes the desalination industry with a focus on industrial desalination and brine management to supply drinking water to urban populations. Other identifiable opportunities include the materials recovery (Lithium), pharmaceutical industry, power generation, oil and gas, food and beverage and semiconductor via industrial wastewater treatment. The objective is to promote a circular economy through recycling-reuse to reduce environmental pollution and to support sustainable development goals on these challenging wastewaters. Objectives – Short Term Action Plan: We plan to be profitable in 2021 and cash flow positive in 2023. Revenue is expected to reach CHF 76.55 Mio by 2023. In the short term, we will: • Raise CHF 4 Mio from investors by the end of 1Q of 2020. • Sign manufacturing agreement with OEM manufacturer ROMAG AG in the 1Q of 2020. • Finalize agreement for an industrial pilot system contract by 1Q of 2020. • Commissioning of the 1st pilot system for testing in the 1Q-2Q of 2020. • Deployment of 2nd and 3rd pilot systems between 2Q – 3Q of 2020. • Development of quality assurance, CE mark for selling in Europe by the 3Q-4Q of 2020. • We anticipate product launch in 3Q of 2020 with deployment of up to 5 commercial reference pilots by the end of 2020. Go-to-Market Strategy The marketing strategy encompass the followings: • Focus on the industrial wastewater treatment sector to support a circular economy. Negotiation is in progress with a global chemical company for Calcium Chloride wastewater treatment. • Focus on the materials recovery (Lithium brine ) market to support the Li-ion battery sector. Business Model: Our business model is based on three pillars, namely i) sales of fully integrated E-METS units directly to end-users, ii) E-METS modules sales to technology providers (system integrators) and, iii) E-METS technology licensing. Pricing will be based on the sales category and capacity, which is attractive according to market sectors.
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Headquarters 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

SDG’s of application

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity everywhere.
Clean Water and
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Affordable and
Clean Energy
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Industry, Innovation
and Infrastructure
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SDG 11
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SDG 12
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Novalife-H2O is a Cleantech startup that aims to provide unconventional water resources through commercialization of our novel thermal separation technology E-METS for desalination, industrial wastewater treatment (IWWT) and support Lithium mining applications. Currently, the most widely implemented water separation technologies can be classified into two categories, namely, i) thermal separation - primarily using thermal energy for evaporation/condensation processes employing metallic alloys, and ii) membrane systems that consumes electrical energy to drive the separation process. Our Enhanced-Multi Effect Thermal Separation (E-METS) technology, on the other hand revolves around a patented invention, initiated to develop a reliable and economical solution for seawater desalination, brine concentration or industrial wastewater treatments (IWWT). The ‘hybrid’ Enhanced-Multi Effect Thermal Separation (E-METS) concept implements advanced flow boiling/cooling principles conventionally employed in state-of-the-art nuclear power plants for water desalination. The concept is the first of its kind for thermal water separation. The second innovation integrates multiple vaporization and condensation and processes, embedded within a compact membrane distillation module for superior energy efficiency for higher production capacity with minimal footprint. The vaporization processes comprise enhanced tube flow boiling, flash evaporation, enhanced pool boiling and membrane distillation. The condensation processes include falling film and dropwise condensation on enhanced tubes and titanium heat exchanger devices. In brief, our technology combines high performance heat exchange devices with hydrophobic polymeric membranes for maximum performance and robustness of the water separation process. The continuous effort of process engineering innovation integrates four vaporization and three condensation processes for the E-METS technology, as opposed to a single-evaporation/condensation process traditionally implemented in conventional thermal separation technologies. Summarizing in brief, the E-METS technology delivers key technological benefits of conventional water purification technologies, both thermal and membrane systems, into a scalable, highly modular configuration. The E-METS technology provides a cost-effective solution to problems currently experienced by users of conventional thermal or membrane separation processes. The characteristics of the E-METS system are: • High Energy Efficiency - Up to 30% thermal energy saving levels against large-scale conventional thermal separation technologies and 50-70% lower electrical energy demand than Reverse Osmosis. • Mobility & Footprint - Compact, modular and a fraction of the footprint of conventional technologies is optimal for containerization with high mobility, i.e. standard shipping container sizes. • Ease of Operation – Less sensitive pre-treatment requirements and skilled operation than membrane systems, enables operation in remote locations with less skilled personnel and maintenance. • Brine Management – Highly suitable as a retrofit technology for brine management of existing desalination plants by reducing brine concentrate discharge and increasing freshwater production. • Sustainability – Powered by low-grade waste heat or renewable solar thermal energy for water production or treatment of effluents.

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Available inSouth America, Central America, Eastern Asia, Southern Asia, South-Eastern Asia, Western Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, Melanesia, Categories of applicationClean water and sanitationSector of applicationWater production, Water treatment, Water distribution and use Status R&D

Current membrane desalination technologies such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) or thermal desalination technologies cannot desalinate high salinity brine or industrial wastewaters. Our novel thermal membrane separation technology, E-METS, can resolve these issues by recovering fresh water from these high salinity brine or wastewater to promote a circular economy (for the industries) and resolve environmentally polluting wastewater discharge. Our first application for the E-METS desalination technology is for materials recovery, i.e. Lithium brine concentration. Current Lithium production methods incur high capital and operational expenditure. This is in additional to severe environmental destruction and water scarcity caused by Lithium mining. Solution: E-METS resolves this issue by reducing up to 90% CAPEX, producing distillate (potable water) for the municipal inhabitants and reducing the cycle time for lithium mineral extraction from approximately 2 years to approximately 2 months.

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Available inWorldwide Status Tested implementation