British Engineers Develop Game-Changer for Global Water Crisis

Duncan Peters, Founder of IF

Meet Duncan Peters, the innovator hoping to bring clean water to millions with his revolutionary technology. (Photo Credit: IF)

by | May 20, 2024

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Engineers from the UK have developed groundbreaking technology that could transform the availability of sanitized drinking water for millions worldwide. Many homes, businesses, and tourist destinations, particularly in rural areas, rely on bottled water or costly private water supplies despite advancements in modern infrastructure. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and depend on unsustainable solutions.

Environmental Impact

This issue is global. Single-use plastics, including plastic bottles, account for 40% of the plastic produced yearly. According to the OECD and UNEP, global plastic waste is projected to nearly triple by 2060, increasing from 353 million tons in 2019 to over 1 billion tons annually. Of the 1.3 billion plastic bottles purchased daily worldwide, almost 45% end up in the ocean after a single use, breaking down into microplastics that contaminate household water supplies.

Innovative Technology

Traditional water purifiers, often clogged by contaminants and prone to deterioration, typically end up in landfills, adding to long-term environmental issues. Filters made with polymers decompose slowly, affecting multiple future generations.

Technology company IF has introduced a miniature vapor compression distillation system that eliminates the need for consumable parts such as filters and membranes and requires no added chemicals. The IF purifier uses proprietary high-speed, energy-efficient vapor distillation to purify water and can be operational in just 45 minutes, treating previously untreatable water. Designed to hook into an existing water mainline, this system offers a seamless and efficient solution. Key features of the technology include evaporative purification, the use of boiling temperatures (over 100°C) to capture and destroy contaminants, and intelligent sensors to monitor and ensure water quality consistency automatically.

Duncan Peters, Founder and CEO of IF, stated, “Access to safe drinking water is a global problem that is only getting harder as global warming, ageing infrastructure, industrial waste and modern contaminants gathers pace. This is why accelerating the path to clean, reliable water is so incredibly important in our lifetime.”

Peters elaborated, “Far more people are starting to pay attention to what’s in their drinking water as we learn more about so-called forever chemicals – which fail to fully break down – and other contaminants. At IF, we want to see a future where you can turn on a tap anywhere in the world and know that you have crystal clear water that is free from pollutants, 365 days a year.”

Real-World Application

Portsonachan Hotel & Lodges, a hospitality business located on Loch Awe in the West of Scotland, is one of the first to benefit from IF’s technology. Due to its heavily contaminated water supply, the hotel purchases over 90,000 liters of bottled water annually. Traditional purification methods failed to deliver consistent results.

“Our water is currently a peaty brown colour which is met with various reactions from guests – ranging from amusement to horror. They expect clean, pure water during their holiday,” said David Parker, owner of Portsonachan Hotel & Lodges. “We’ve tried several different and more traditional purification methods over the years, including a £30,000 centralised system that has never worked. Unfortunately even if it did work, we have 20 years of peat that has built up in our pipes. Relying on bottled water has been our only solution up until now. We’re proud to be the first hospitality business in Scotland to be introducing IF’s technology so that we can stop purchasing thousands of litres of bottled water each year and give our visitors access to high quality water.”

Global Expansion and Future Potential

IF technology is currently available in the UK and parts of Europe. The company conducts hundreds of tests annually through independent UKAS-accredited water test laboratories. Its team of inventors, engineers, and product experts, including from renowned companies like Dyson and Sonos, is dedicated to introducing this innovative technology globally.

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