Contrary to common belief, household water filtration devices, such as the Brita filter, have never been able to eliminate many contaminants of concern from your drinking water.
Now, two University of Massachusetts graduate students, Julie Bliss Mullen and Barrett Mully, think they have found a solution with a little help from electricity.
Utilizing an electrochemical advanced oxidation process (EAOP), Aclarity created a device that uses small amounts of electricity to treat unwanted contaminants in water. This process instantly destroys or transforms harmful elements such as pathogens, organics and metals, which allows the Aclarity device to operate without added chemicals or routine maintenance.
“Contaminants are either destroyed or put into a state where they can be safely ingested,” Mullen, co-founder of Aclarity and a Ph.D candidate, told The Buzz. “You would need many different purification systems and a heavy wallet to accomplish the treatment effectiveness of the Aclarity device.”
Mullen first discovered the technology while working in the Water Quality Processes Lab at UMass. She didn’t want the technology to go to waste so she eventually teamed up with Mully, an MBA candidate, to launch the startup last spring.
Mully instantly saw the potential societal impact of the technology.
“Our device provides an extra layer of safety to ensure families are drinking truly clean water in a time where water quality is diminishing,” Mully said.
Aclarity is quickly picking up steam. In April 2017, the company, then called ElectroPure, won first prize and $26,000 at the UMass Innovation Challenge, funds used to springboard research and development, and commercialization efforts.
The duo then collaborated with an industry leader in the residential water purification market, leading to the development and current testing of an alpha prototype.
By 2020, Mullen and Mully hope to have the Aclarity whole-house device on the market, selling through a manufacturing distributor or wholesaler. Long term, the duo plans to expand into other water markets and applications.
Aclarity is currently looking for other collaborators in the water industry to help them with this mission. If you think you can assist them or direct them in the right direction, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.aclaritywater.com.