water pad

Chembrains Developing Water Tech Solution Supported by ÉTS Students

By Melissa Dick & Aziz Gherrou
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Over the past 6 months, three Montreal-based emerging companies have been active in the AquaEntrepreneur Montréal program. They have been working closely with coaches and mentors to refine their business strategies and water tech solutions to meet the needs of end-users in the municipal sector. They are working towards an eventual pilot project to test their products in partnership with a municipality in the Greater Montreal Region.

One of the companies, ChemBrains, is developing a new water treatment solution for splash pads which will result in significant water savings. Traditional water management systems for splash pad installations are “open”, meaning that treated water from the municipal network is pumped into the installation and sprayed through the playground features. Once that water hits the ground, it drains directly into the municipal wastewater network. Splash pad water consumption is therefore very high, and particularly during hot summers when usage is increased. Water consumption can reach almost 100 cubic meters of water per day, which, over a typical summer, can represent a considerable volume of wasted water.

ChemBrains identified an opportunity to adapt splash pad systems to reduce water consumption while maintaining the highest standards of water quality.

They have developed a closed-loop water treatment system equipped with water quality sensors which will allow for water to be continually recirculated. Their bench-scale prototype has performed well in laboratory conditions, and in the context of the AquaEntrepreneur Montréal program, they are looking for an opportunity to test their system on a full-scale installation.

One of the key features of ChemBrains’ closed-loop recirculation system is a programmable controller that will monitor water quality in real-time through sensors.

Aziz Gherrou, founder of ChemBrains and senior chemist, is working with a team of students from the École de Technologie supérieure (ÉTS) to develop the controller. The students are working on the development of the software, as well as the controller hardware equipped with probes and various electrochemical reactors.

The collaboration between ChemBrains and the team of students will be beneficial both in terms of supporting Mr Gherrou with the technical development of his water tech solutions and providing an opportunity for the students to apply their skills in a concrete project

AquaEntrepreneur Montréal is offered by AquaAction in partnership with IVÉO and the City of Montreal.