Even as California experienced the worst drought in centuries, 40 water experts gathered at Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford in January of 2016, and reached the consensus that desalination is unlikely to ever contribute significantly to California’s water supply, largely due to cost, electrical energy intensity, and environmental impact. This result illustrates that current desalination techniques are still too painful to widely deploy.
GreenBlu was founded in 2016 based on this idea: rising demand for clean water simply can't be met by current desalination and treatment methods, and that new technologies are needed.
GreenBlu solves the toughest challenges facing desalination and wastewater, which are high electricity use and liquid waste discharge. Our value propositions are: 1) providing purified water anywhere from any water source 2) zero liquid discharge wastewater treatment including RO brine 3) recovery of aqueous biochemicals and minerals via desiccation. GreenBlu’s go-anywhere, modular, containerized distillers and ZLD crystallizers are highly-efficient, cost-competitive, and completely changes the economics of waste brine by monetizing dissolved solids. Our vapor adsorption distillation cycle powered by waste or solar heat achieves low operating cost by not using membranes and minimizing electricity use.
Our patented distillation method recycles the heat of adsorption, the latent heat of vaporization, and the sensible heat multiple times. This new distillation method is enabled by our patented high thermal-conductivity nanocomposite adsorbent. GreenBlu’s distiller can triple the efficiency of current thermal distillers (MSF/MED). Our adsorbent acts as a water vapor pump, adsorbing and desorbing pure vapor without contacting the input water, making the adsorbent permanent. Distilled water is a high purity product that can be easily customized for all uses, industrial, agricultural, and potable. Our techniques requires less pretreatment and testing than reverse osmosis and uses 30-80 times less electricity when desalinating seawater. Our desiccation process can dry input liquids, regardless of concentration,into solids. When applied to the rapidly growing zero liquid discharge applications. Applying our zero-carbon method to seawater reverse osmosis brine waste would enable the mining of magnesium and salt from seawater, cost-effectively and renewably producing the lightest structural metal for improving transportation efficiency.
Meet Our Team
The employees at GreenBlu have extensive experience both as research physicists and engineers. Each technical team member comes with more than 10 years of experience building hardware and writing software for experimental physics. Our understanding of the physics, material science, heat transfer design and market fit for solar-powered adsorption distillation uniquely qualifies us to advance this research to a commercial product.
Dr. Howard Yuh
Ph.D. '05, Nuclear Engineering, MIT
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Yuh founded GreenBlu in 2016 after years of independent research into enabling materials and how to better utilize lower exergy energy. He is a nuclear engineer and material scientist by training, and has expertise in thermal cycles, adsorption physics, and pressure/vacuum systems. He served as a member of the inaugural class of the DOE Oppenheimer Science Energy Leadership Program in 2016, was a winner of the CleanTech Open NE business accelerator in 2016, and was one of six startups in the CleanTech2Market in 2017.
Dr. Ethan Schartman
Ph.D. '08, Astrophysics, Princeton
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Schartman received his PhD in Astrophysics from Princeton University in 2008. His dissertation involved the designing of rotating sheared flows of both water and a liquid gallium alloy.
Dr. Kevin Tritz
Ph.D. '02, Engineering Physics, U. Wisconsin, Madison
Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Tritz received his PhD in Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2002. He has worked on system analysis and design, instrumentation and process control, and machine learning algorithms in fusion energy research for over 20 years.
Mr. David Cylinder
A.S. '81, Mechanical Eng. Technology, MCCC
Mr. Cylinder has 30 years of hands-on experience as an engineer/technician on numerous physics experiments. His expertise includes designing experimental hardware, assembling complex vacuum systems, and experimental instrumentation. David also has 15 years of experience designing and fabricating micro-air vehicles with novel geometries. Mr. Cylinder holds three patents.
Mr. Dan Dressel
B.A. '98, Business Administration, Cal Poly
Head of Business Development
Mr. Dressel has 20 years of experience spanning advertising, sales and marketing, and OEM product integration. For the last 5 years he has been the Director of Sales and Marketing at a leading battery company, and has wide-ranging experience in a number of solar projects.