Water Purifier Grabs Top Cleantech Prize

Who really rocked the clean-technology world in the past year? The Cleantech Open National Awards — self-styled as the “Academy Awards of Clean Technology” — are probably as good a measure as anything else, and their big prize for 2010 just went to Puralytics. The Beaverton, Ore., company was selected from five regional winners and grabbed a $250,000 check for a water purification process that uses light from LEDs — or even sunlight.

What’s really cool about the Puralytics process, Cleantech Open said in a press release, is that it leaves behind no wastewater or chemicals, “unlike most current water purification technologies, which can create known health risks or return all of the sequestered contaminants back to the environment.”

Puralytics water purification system

image via Puralytics

Two runners-up to Puralytics were highlighted: Boston-based OnChip Power for its high-efficiency, miniaturized power-supply technology; and EarthClean of Minneapolis for a fire suppressant that’s said to be both non-toxic and readily biodegradeable.

Cleantech Open calls itself the world’s largest cleantech business competition. Sponsors are led by “Global Partner” Chevron and “Global Foundation Partner” Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation. This was the fifth edition of the competition, which took in 271 entries from five regions: California, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, North Central and Northeast. Eighteen regional finalists received $30,000 in cash and prizes.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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