At the start of 2022, Mellby Gård and Feralco launched a joint investment initiative to scale-up sustainable water treatment solutions. Now, this initiative has made its first investment in UK-based company I-Phyc. I-Phyc have developed a carbon negative technology for purifying tertiary wastewater by removing pollutants, especially phosphate and ammonia, using microalgae and light.
For the last three decades, eutrophication and thus phosphate removal has been a major challenge for the wastewater industry. Wastewater treatment plants across the globe typically rely on chemicals for the phosphate removal process. As a market leader in the production of process chemicals for water treatment, Feralco is closely monitoring technological developments, eager to learn, modify and improve its offering in an innovative direction.
“The joint sustainable water treatment initiative has gained a lot of traction, generating a high and steady potential deal flow from the global water ecosystem. However, I-Phyc has a very promising process which complements our Group’s offer within wastewater treatment. Now that we are a stakeholder and board representative, we will also closely support developments and help to drive the scale up”, says Mikael Helmerson, VP Industrial at Mellby Gård.
Established in 2012, I-Phyc is an innovative business based in Birmingham, UK. I-Phyc has developed a natural, patented, carbon negative and environmentally sustainable product for treating and cleaning wastewater.
Naturally occurring algae are grown and pre-conditioned for speedy uptake of nutrients and pollutants. The microalgae are added, in specific proportions, to the wastewater in a tank. The algae start removing multiple nutrients and contaminants, such as phosphate, ammonia, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metals, as well as carbon dioxide.
The treatment takes up to 8 hours depending on the composition of the wastewater and the cleaned effluent is discharged from the water treatment plant to the watercourse. The algae residues can be used as biomass or reused in the process. A number of pilot plant trials have been undertaken, and the next objective is a roll out of the technology to targeted wastewater treatment plants throughout the UK.
“Our technology really works, and we have the science and trial results to support it. Through this new partnership with Mellby Gård and Feralco, we will gain industry insights as well as resources to take us further, faster”, says Karl Wills, Executive Chair of I-Phyc.
“This initiative is aimed at providing challenger brands with the means of industrial scale-up by using our network and our profound understanding of the industry. We look forward to cooperating with I-Phyc and are confident that we can speed up the process of introducing sustainable water treatment solutions more widely, starting with a roll out of I-Phyc to water treatment plants in the UK”, says Stephen Childs and Ludovic Huitorel, co-CEO’s of Feralco
Feralco was founded in 2000 and is a leading European provider of water treatment solutions with over 130 million people across the globe benefitting from the company’s products used to provide drinking water. The company has an annual turnover of approx. 1.6 billion SEK.
Mellby Gård is a family-owned investment company with four major areas of investment: industry solutions, consumer goods, agriculture and services. Their aim is to preserve the entrepreneurial spirit of companies they invest in and support them long-term, taking them from “Promising to Leading”.