The Veragon & ThinAir Partnership
Veragon and ThinAir have developed a close partnership with the key objective of revolutionizing the capability of Atmospheric Water Generators in delivering high quality, mineralized drinking water, at the point of need, in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner”.
Veragon’s Air-to-Water- units convert the humidity within the air into clean mineralized drinking water on a commercial scale. The concept has been developed from a medical perspective producing water that is carefully mineralized to meet the human body’s requirements for minerals to prevent dehydration and incorporated with an inherent design flexibility to also produce sterile water for medical purposes and oral rehydration solutions. One disadvantage to the general concept of extracting water from the atmosphere to provide drinking water: the water is essentially ‘pure’ and does not contain any of the minerals found in water form a natural source (e.g. spring). Studies have shown that the healthiest type of water is bottled mineral water, which can help people enhance their overall health and well-being.
The ThinAir team are developing a surface material at Imperial College London, that rapidly enhances the process of water condensation. This special combination of surface structure and chemistry takes inspiration from nature to encourage water nucleation and simultaneously provide a route for efficient water run-off with an increase of 370%. ThinAir have won 8 startup competitions including Student Startup of the Year and the McKinsey Venture Academy having completed their current proof-of-concept.
Through close collaboration the partnership is developing a solution which incorporates ThinAir’s revolutionary surface technology in elements of Veragon’s machines, thus significantly increasing productivity and consequently improving efficiency and cost.
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A Veragon ‘Air to Water’ Generator (AWG) initially draws the humid air through a filtration system before it makes contact with cold plates which cool the air to its dew point. This induces condensation of the water vapor in the air, changing it from gas to liquid. The condensed water is collected in the storage tank. The water is then purified using ozone in order to oxidize and inactivate organic and chemical impurities, as well as any bacteria present in the water. The sanitized water is then mechanically filtered, removing unpleasant odours and tastes. The sanitized and filtered water is then mineralized via special mineralizing cartridges to avoid contamination from the tap, the last stage of treatment is the irradiation of ultraviolet rays. The result is pure mineralized drinking water that meets standard potability requirements.
ThinAir has developed and patented a surface structure which has a unique microstructure arrangement optimized for water condensation. This structure can be applied to a myriad of devices to harness the humidity in the air. The principal integration for the XPRIZE competition for ThinAir is within Veragon’s air-to-water machine to improve the efficiency by lowering the temperature gradient required for successful water nucleation.
About Team Leader
The Veragon & ThinAir partnership benefits from the collaboration between a number of key disciplines. Team leader Laura Dean combines her scientific knowledge and marketing know-how to support Veragon and work alongside ThinAir’s leader Jonathan Risley in ensuring a successful partnership.
ThinAir’s scientific backgrounds are leveraged by Veragon’s industrial, commercial and marketing expertise.
ThinAir, an Imperial College start-up, contains a team with first class scientific experience focused on Materials Engineering & Biotechnology, as well as Masters Degrees in Business Management and previous start-up and accelerator experience.
Veragon’s team members include an experienced manufacturing director, business development director, ACA finance professional and ex marketing manager with across the board backgrounds in science and engineering.
Veragon - Alessio Lucatelli, Nicholas Van Cutsem, Dave Cupit, Laura Dean, Nick Smith.
Thin Air – Jonathan Risley, Jansen Teng, Sam Bruggen, Maks Maktari, Flo Glencross