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NematiQ Signs MOU with Schreurs & Sons for Water Recycling using Graphene Membranes

30 September 2022

NematiQ Signs MOU with Schreurs & Sons for Water Recycling using Graphene Membranes

David Menzies, CEO of NematiQ, and Chris Schreurs, Director of Schruers & Sons collecting dam water

Clean TeQ Water’s 100% owned subsidiary, NematiQ, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Schreurs & Sons (Schreurs), one of Australia’s largest and most prominent celery and leek growers, to demonstrate the NematiQ Direct Graphene Membrane Nanofiltration technology to treat and recycle process and surface water for use in their manufacturing and packaging facility in Clyde, Victoria.

Schreurs grows and processes celery and leeks for both the domestic and export market. In processing, water is used for washing, cutting, and disinfecting the greens. Considerable amounts of water are used in the process and Schreurs are committed to reducing the use of fresh water by increasing the use of high-quality recycled water.

Direct Graphene Membrane Nanofiltration technology uses the unique properties of graphene oxide to filter bacteria, viruses, and organics at a molecular weight cut-off of more than 800 Daltons. The Graphene Membrane can achieve very high flux rates at low pressure resulting in energy savings and therefore reduced greenhouse gas emissions for users in comparison to reverse osmosis (RO) and traditional nanofiltration (NF). The graphene oxide coating is the active surface layer of the membrane providing anti-fouling properties which increases membrane life and reduces the energy consumption usually seen when polymeric membranes become fouled.

Preliminary testing has been concluded on waters collected onsite pre-treated with only a 50-micron particle filter to remove larger particles from the feed water. This water was subsequently processed through direct filtration using NematiQ’s laboratory Graphene Nanofiltration system in a crossflow format yielding excellent results.

The resulting water quality test work showed substantial improvement in all major water quality parameters providing safe water for recirculation within the facility. Turbidity was reduced by 99.9% from 594 mg/L down to 0.6 mg/L, dissolved organics, as measured by COD, were reduced by 92.5% from 134 mg/L to <10 mg/L, and Total Coliforms (bacteria) was reduced by 100% from >2000 MPN/100mL down to 0 MPN/100mL. The results provide the basis for NematiQ and Schreurs & Sons to enter an MOU for water recycling.


NematiQ Signs MOU with Schreurs & Sons for Water Recycling using Graphene Membranes

An image of the feed water (left), the Graphene Membrane filtered permeate water (middle) and the rejected wastewater (right).

NematiQ and Schreurs aim to complete a larger-scale pilot trial prior to the end of 2022, with the results informing a technical and economic evaluation of the technology. The pilot trial will make use of either 4040 or 8040-sized Graphene Nanofiltration modules to process larger volumes of water continuously of between 0.25 to 1 m3 per hour. If successful, this may lead to a full-scale plant being designed and installed for the Schreurs & Sons food processing facility. The total water used at Schreurs is more than 40 m3 per hour equating to more than 500 m3 per week.

We are pleased to have the opportunity of working with Schreurs with our ground-breaking technology to increase water recycling. We believe that our Direct Graphene Membrane Nanofiltration process can provide our customers with best in class economic and environmental outcomes. The outcome of this MOU will move the technology from Technology Readiness Level 6 up to Technology Readiness Level 8/9, meaning the business is in the final commercialisation phase.

Dr. David MenziesCEO, NematiQ

We are committed to reducing our energy and water footprint to be a leader of sustainable production in the food sector. The results from the NematiQ filtrations of our wash waters are very exciting.

Chris SchreursSchreurs & Sons Director

After eight years of internal development, it is satisfying to see real interest from Australian companies in recognizing the benefits that the NematiQ Graphene Membrane technology can bring to their operations. The market for the technology is very large and commercial pilots are a key milestone for technology commercialisation.

Willem VriesendorpChief Executive Officer, Clean TeQ Water