2013 Contest Winner!

Submitted by:
Trojan Technologies

Question 1: Describe the profound impact your technology – as part of an end-user product – has had on Society. How has the population been impacted by your technology. This could be behavioral, economical, societal, etc.

From the water we drink to the processed water we use in our industries and in agriculture, water is a precious resource that touches every person on the planet in one way or another every single day. As the world’s population increases, so too does the demand for this commodity. Since only one per cent of the world’s water is fresh water and that only a small percentage of that is drinkable, the challenges in maximizing this resource for current and future generations are obvious. In the spring of 2000, about 2,500 people in Walkerton, Canada, fell ill and seven died when E. Coli from manure spread on nearby fields was washed into the water supply by heavy rains. For more than a quarter of a century, matching proven solutions to water-related environmental problems has been the hallmark of Trojan Technologies. Since 1977, the company has led the change to water disinfection systems that use environmentally responsible, cost-effective ultraviolet light in place of chemicals.

Question 2: Tell us about how your technology is unique? What makes it stand out? How do you differentiate it from other similar technologies?

Prior to the 1980s, almost all municipal waste water was disinfected by chlorine. By the early 1990s there was a realization that the chlorinated compounds produced when high concentrations of organic substances are mixed with chlorine could be harmful to animals and humans. These substances are called disinfection byproducts (DBPs), and because of possible carcinogenic properties, DBPs are now regulated. There was a growing need to provide an alternate water treatment solution to chlorine, which has been provided by ultraviolet light. Microorganisms absorb UV light causing the formation of dimers in nucleic acids so the organism cannot reproduce. For environmental contaminant treatment (ECT), contaminants can be destroyed by direct photolysis, where one of the chemical bonds within the molecule ruptures to produce a biologically benign product. A second method uses advanced oxidation processes, where highly reactive hydroxyl radicals are formed which destroy contaminants.

Question 3: When first launched, did your technology make a transformational change for the end-user or incremental changes by improving a current technology? Describe this.

Ultraviolet disinfection provided a transformational ability to provide safe water without harmful byproducts, and a unique method to remove harmful chemical contaminants from drinking water. Today, Trojan is recognized as the leader in advanced UV water treatment technology in a growing number of key market sectors including municipal drinking water and wastewater, environmental contaminant treatment and residential applications, as well as the ultra-purification of water used in food and beverage manufacturing, pharmaceutical processing, and semiconductor applications. Trojan’s success is evident in more than 8,000 municipal UV disinfection facilities operating in over 80 countries − the largest installed base of UV systems in the world.

Question 4: Give a specific example (with company names) of the buying chain for your product/technology once you sell it to the next level buyer. Provide an example of the succession of companies your product goes through, ultimately to get to an end-user. Example: We produce a component that we sell to a laser systems manufacturer (name the company) who sells it to a medical OEM (name the company), who then sells it to a hospital (name the hospital).

Water treatment systems are produced by Trojan Technologies and sold primarily to municipalities who install these systems as part of the water treatment plant. For example, the Orange County Water District in Fountain Valley, California injects highly treated wastewater into the local aquifer to prevent the intrusion of salt water from the ocean as water is withdrawn from the aquifer for irrigation or drinking water. This system uses a TrojanUVPhox™ system utilizing UV light and hydrogen peroxide to accomplish a 1.2-log reduction in NDMA concentration while acting as a barrier to a wide variety of wastewater-derived contaminants.

Question 5: In which vertical market(s) would you classify the end-users of this technology?

Question 6: Give us your one sentence “elevator pitch” you would use to tell a non-technical person about your technology and the critical role it plays in Society.

Increasingly, municipalities are turning to UV to ensure the safety and quality of their water, and to restore public confidence in their water supplies. The use of UV disinfection prevents the spread of harmful organisms in the water supply, and UV also destroys harmful contaminants.

Question 7: Surprise Us! What else should we know about your product/technology?

Intense UV light sources in the 200-290 nm wavelength region are needed for disinfection and ECT. The UV dose received by the organisms or contaminants is monitored with UV intensity sensors and UV transmittance monitors, which is critical to ensure that the required dose is maintained during water treatment. Optics tools such as UV light sources, robust optical sensors, and optical simulations of UV water treatment systems, allow optimization of the performance of UV reactors.

Additional information.

  1. Trojan Technologies