On Wednesday, GE (NYSE: GE) announced a partnership with water technology company memsys clearwater Pte. Ltd. to develop water treatment technology for the ‘unconventional’ energy sector. Jointly, they will aim to customize membrane distillation (MD) technology for operations that rely on hydraulic fracturing.
Membrane distillation (MD), according to GE’s press release, is “a low-cost brine concentration technology that can replicate teh conventional thermal evaporation processes while using less energy and lowering the cost and the carbon footprint of evaporation.”
The GE press release says the agreement works out by allowing GE to invest in and test run the technology, and memsys will reciprocate by granting GE the right to use MD technology in hydraulic fracturing or other unconventional energy extraction processes.
At a time when North America is posing a serious challenge to the world’s fuel domination by OPEC thanks to a recent boom in shale oil operations, MD technology appears uniquely positioned to help speed unconventional fuel operations along and safely treat the water used in the process.
Götz Lang, memsys CEO, said:
“We are excited to work with GE in the unconventional resources segment. GE is a technical innovator in the global water and power generation industries, which makes them a great partner to commercialize our MD technology for unconventional resource applications.”
Speaking for GE, Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems–water and process technologies, said:
“memsys is the first company to develop a commercially viable, scalable solution for large projects using MD technology. Their technical expertise, combined with our own water technology leadership and business presence in the unconventional resource segment, make our agreement with memsys a unique, exciting collaboration.”