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SCFI celebrates eco-innovation success as demonstrator is launched

Cork-based waste treatment technology business SCFI is celebrating the successful completion of a project part-funded by the EU to build a demonstrator unit. The unit showcases the company’s innovative AquaCritox® technology and was built with the help of a grant from the EU’s Eco-innovation initiative.

Unveiled to industry observers at an event in Cork at the end of November, the portable unit is housed in three adapted shipping containers and can be taken to sites across the globe to demonstrate the effectiveness of the AquaCritox system in actual industrial environments and across a range of waste types.

“AquaCritox is a world-leading technology,” explained SCFI chief executive John O’Regan, “which can take toxic waste streams such as sewage and industrial effluent and, through a process called hydrothermal oxidation, completely convert them into harmless substances like water, CO2 and inert oxides, while at the same time generating energy. It is a remarkable example of a sustainable technology which can tackle some of the biggest waste problems facing the world today.”

The new demonstrator unit will allow SCFI to mount real-time demonstrations of AquaCritox technology in true operating conditions anywhere in the world. “Seeing is often believing when it comes to new technologies,” said O’Regan, “so this is a major step forward for SCFI in proving both the technical and commercial effectiveness of AquaCritox to our potential clients.” Eco-innovation funding helped the project overcome technological and commercial hurdles to deliver a flexible modular demonstrator that performs hydrothermal oxidation at various pressures and temperatures appropriate for different types of waste.

The Eco-innovation initiative helps SMEs with innovative, environmental products that have been proven through piloting, overcome obstacles to commercial success. It’s part of the EU’s commitment to not only boost economic growth, but ensure Europe leads the way in helping meet the world’s sustainability challenges.

With the destruction and disposal of wet waste a notable commercial and environmental problem globally, AquaCritox technology was selected for grant funding – providing a safe, secure and sustainable solution that has not been realised before.

Added O’Regan: “With so many ground-breaking environmental technologies applying for support from the Eco-innovation programme, we were very proud to have been selected. The EU awarded us just under €1m which we have matched to bring this project to fruition. The AquaCritox demonstrator is now ready to tackle waste the world over.”
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