In 2016 Danish-born Henrik Hagemann, a recent engineering graduate and the founder of a startup called CustoMem, developed a pioneering cellulose membrane.
Cleverly, it has been engineered to selectively filter out specific pollutants that cannot currently be captured. Hagemann’s technology also caught the attention of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), becoming one of four to receive an enterprise fellowship from the Academy.
With 300,000 hectares of land estimated to be contaminated with water pollution in the UK alone, many existing water treatment procedures ‘cannot filter out’ some micro-pollutants, including arsenic and heavy metals, the founders claim. They can also require excessive energy or hazardous chemicals.
Mr Hagemann is now developing a membrane engineered to filter specific pollutants that cannot currently be captured. This may offer a solution that is 10 times cheaper to produce than competing nano-membrane treatments and the production requires 1,000 times less energy.
CustoMem aims to sell membrane cartridges and reusable water treatment units to major manufacturers, such as textile and mining companies that are facing regulatory pressures, providing a cheap, sustainable way to eliminate contamination from their supply chains.
He believes his bioengineered water treatment membrane was ‘up to 100 times cheaper and took 1,000 times less energy’ to produce than existing water treatment technologies, which might ‘dramatically’ reduce the cost of cleaning polluted water across Europe.
Leicestershire-based Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Ltd has won the inaugural International Additive Manufacturing Award (IAMA) during a reception at The MFG Meeting in Orlando.
Along with the award, Hybrid Manufacturing will receive a $20,000 cash prize and a media package valued at $80,000. Hybrid Manufacturing developed a system that can be
integrated into any CNC machine to allow for metal deposition (via laser cladding), finishing and inspection of parts on a single machine.
The hybrid methodology integrates directed energy deposition into multi-axis CNC machine, using a tool changer to change between processes.
Dr Jason Jones, co-founder and CEO of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, said “Hybrid technology is exciting because it offers a new way to adopt Additive Manufacturing – as an upgrade to a CNC machine tool. Adding tool-changeable deposition heads to an existing CNC machine enables 3D printing of metal, without the need to buy a separate machine.
“This significantly reduces costs and provides an intuitive adoption path for CNC operators. The combination of additive with machining offers new capabilities, including in-process finishing, that cannot be delivered by either technology independently.”
The Blacktrace group’s many years of expertise and world-leading capabilities in the design, development and manufacture of automated microfluidic continuous flow equipment. Its subsidiaries include Syrris, Dolomite, and Glass Solutions, under the company’s ethos of ‘Productizing Science’.
Omar Jina, Chief Commercial Officer at Blacktrace Holdings, said “The launch of Particle Works is the newest addition to our group of companies. It complements our world-leading capabilities in the design, development and manufacture of continuous flow and automated chemistry equipment.
It extends the firm’s range of products and services to include precision manufactured nano- and microstructured materials. Particle Works designs and fabricates a wide range of metal nanoparticles, quantum dots and hydrogels with tight control of critical parameters such as particle size, shape and architecture and supplies them with comprehensive characterization data.
These standard products are designed to maximize material performance – including catalytic activity, magnetic strength and optical resonance – helping to standardize processes and accelerate development across a wide range of disciplines. The Particle Works team can also provide customer-specific services to simplify and accelerate proof of principle, materials optimization and scale-up studies. Particle Works was launched at the Nanotexnology 2016 conference in Thessaloniki, Greece, in July.