If you've ever driven on 880 right off the Bay Bridge, you've probably noticed the public water facility that is purifying tens of millions of gallons of water a day. There's about 16,000 wastewater treatment plants across the country, similar to this one. The problem is, they're apparently wasting a lot of energy and maybe even creating more waste.
Enter: PTG or Pasteurization Technology Group, which is set to announce later this morning that it's raised $5 million in funding from Canadian-based EIC Ventures (an existing investor), as well as Kennington. Prior to this round, PTG, which was founded in 2005, raised $1 million in a convertible note.
PTG's goal is to help municipalities and industrial companies save costs as they disinfect their water. "Over 20 percent of energy consumed in California is used to move and treat water and wastewater," said Greg Ryan, co-founder and CEO of PTG. "Wastewater treatment plants use tons of electricity. Our disinfection systems give them the ability to generate electricity onsite and defray or even eliminate their grid electricity charges."
To this end, PTG enables its customers to disinfect wastewater without using toxic chemicals. "There are a lot of technologies available to disinfect water," said Ryan. But PTG disinfects it using a non-toxic process while also generating renewable energy. Normally, wastewater treatment plants generate biogas (or methane) that is not utilized and may even be flared — representing a wasted opportunity, Ryan explained. PTG’s integrated systems use the biogas to power a turbine that generates electricity.
The turbine’s hot exhaust air is passed through a waste-heat recovery unit that increases the temperature to disinfect the wastewater. This process makes PTG's solution more cost-effective and energy-efficient, Ryan claims.
Since coming out of stealth mode last year, PTG has secured a contract with Graton, Calif. which is processing more than 500,000 gallons a day. It's also working with Ventura Water, based in Southern California, which is handling some 10 million gallons a day.
For Ventura Water, PTG is saving the facility about $750,000 a year, by saving $400,000 in electricity costs and $350,000 in chlorine costs. Chlorine is currently used to disinfect water.
While the costs are still being worked out, PTG would charge a facility like Ventura around $8 million to $10 million to buy equipment (turbines, piping, valves, etc) and software as well as integration. PTG is the systems integrator and adds a margin to the equipment it has to buy, though Ryan wouldn't disclose how much that is.
After targeting wastewater treatment facilities, PTG intends to target food and beverage manufacturers.
(Image source: ebmud.com)