cleantech insights

Enzymes help wastewater plant in India drop chemicals

Emma Ritch

Kerala, India-based Synthite said it has adopted a new enzyme technology from Sydney, Australia-based BiOWiSH Technologies to eliminate chemicals, reduce energy use, and eliminate the production of sludge at its industrial wastewater treatment plant in southern India.

The production of spice oleoresins uses a variety of raw materials, creating wastewater with a wide range of acidity levels. Previously, Synthite would monitor the pH and correspondingly adjust the lime dosing, but the process was imperfect.

“Anytime we got the pH wrong, it would take days to recover from a spike in suspended solids,” said B. Shavanas, Synthite’s engineering manager, in a news release.

The chemical use made the company’s sludge into hazardous waste subject to regulatory controls. In addition, an energy-intensive aeration processes was necessary to sustain the microbial population digesting the sludge.

In a three-month trial, Synthite used specialty high-speed enzymes from BiOWiSH to break down the organic waste. The plant was been able to eliminate lime dosing and sludge, and reduce energy consumption by limiting the use of aerators. In al, Synthite reported a 50 percent reduction in operating costs of the plant.

BiOWiSH’s enzyme technology also has applications in agriculture, solid waste management, livestock farming and consumer products …


New Bridgelux CEO talks IPO future

Emma Ritch

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based LED developer Bridgelux said today it raised an additional $50 million in venture equity for its Series D financing, bringing the oversubscribed round to $80 million in equity.

The announcement coincides with the appointment of new CEO Bill Watkins, who joins the company from Seagate Technology, where he was CEO.

Former Bridgelux CEO Mark Swoboda is remaining with the company as president to lead product development, R&D, sales and marketing.

Aside from senior staff, Bridgelux employees have not yet been notified of the change, which is expected to be announced tomorrow at 5 a.m. PST.

“It’s not a change of direction but a change in the slope and vector,” said Marc van den Berg, managing director of VantagePoint Venture Partners, in an interview with the Cleantech Group. “The current CEO has done a great job positioning the company, and now it’s about ramping the company on a global scale.”

VantagePoint led the new round, which included funding from all existing investors, including DCM, El Dorado Ventures, VentureTech Alliance, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, and Harris & Harris Group. New, unnamed investors also participated, Watkins said, including an undisclosed strategic investor.

Watkins noted that his 30 years …