New Technology from Dow Addresses Global Water Scarcity


New water purification technology being introduced by Midland-based Dow will help treatment plants around the world deliver 40 percent better purification while reducing energy use by 30 percent.

Over the next decade, Dow’s Filmtec Eco Elements is expected to produce the equivalent of 6 million Olympic-sized swimming pools of clean water, while providing considerable energy savings and significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

“This innovation will help deliver a more sustainable water supply to the world, addressing global water scarcity in a very tangible way,” said Neil Hawkins, Dow’s corporate vice president of sustainability. The 2030 Water Resources Group reports that by 2030, global water demand is expected to grow by 50 percent, while analysts predict that available water supplies will satisfy only 60 percent of the need.

In addition to improving public water supplies, the advanced reverse osmosis technology will help utility providers reduce chemical usage and improve power production time. In addition, electronic manufacturers can increase water purity for higher performing tablets, smartphones, and computers, while brewers can brew more sustainably. Overall, Filmtec will help reduce operational costs in water treatment facilities between 16 percent and 19 percent.

“The industrial use of water is one of the largest uses of treated water, and increasing water scarcity has driven companies to seek out new ways to purify water and promote water reuse that are cost-effective and environmentally conscious,” said Snehal Desai, global business director for Dow Water & Process Solutions.

Hawkins says Filmtec is the company’s second of three “breakthroughs to world challenges,” which aim to solve global problems in the areas of energy and climate change, water, food, housing, and health. In 2012, Dow announced its first breakthrough technology, Omega-9 healthy oils, in an effort to reduce trans and saturated fat — shown to increase the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.