Puralytics Develops Water Purifying Technology

Business Oregon and the Oregon Innovation Council helped Beaverton's Puralytics with the funding and technology needed for them to develop life saving water purifying technology and bring millions of venture capital into the state.

By late 2012, the company's fortunes continued to improve when it was named a Global Cleantech Top 100 company and had Inc. Magazine name it a top water investment for 2012. In addition, Puralytics received another financial boost in late 2012 when it received the most money awarded any Oregon company in a recent funding cycle from Keiretsu Forum Northwest, the Northwest chapter of an extensive angel investor network that has chapters worldwide.

The company had grown to seven full-time employees and six part-time workers and expected their 2013 sales to grow tenfold over the previous year's sales.

Armed with a $250,000 grant from the Oregon Nanotechnologies and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), Puralytics uses breakthrough nanotechnology and light to purify water and crack a worldwide market valued at $1 billion. Puralytics Shield 500 is only the size of a desktop computer but can purify 500 gallons of water a day, requiring only ultraviolet light to remove petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury, as well as bacteria, viruses and other pathogens—all while using no chemicals or creating waste.

Its SolarBag can be used anywhere, needing only sunlight to stimulate a nano-material reaction that purifies 3 liters of water in two-to-four hours, even on a cloudy day. The system uses no chemicals and requires no power, but kills microorganisms, breaks down harmful chemicals into benign components and captures heavy metals—perfect for places without electricity or where natural disasters have struck.

The larger Shield models start at $9,000 and top out at $12,000, depending on the application. The SolarBag is priced at $80 on Amazon.com. The SolarBag 3L is used mainly by aid organizations which purchase it in volume.

In 2010, Puralytics beat out hundreds of other companies to win the prestigious "Cleantech Open" in Silicon Valley as the best environmentally sustainable business in the U.S. The award brought a $250,000 prize plus attention from Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

ONAMI is one of six initiatives funded by the Oregon Innovation Council, which partners private industry leaders with university researchers to commercialize promising ideas, creating new companies and jobs for Oregon. ONAMI funding has helped companies create 83 jobs in Oregon, including four at Puralytics.