Success Stories

Saltworks helps resource industries clean up

Saltworks helps resource industries clean up

Vancouver’s Saltworks Technologies Inc. has been helping organizations and resource industries manage one of their most challenging problems: the treatment of polluted waters to minimize the threats of environmental damage.

Established in 2008, Saltworks invented new energy efficient and lower cost systems to make fresh water from the resource industry’s most contaminated waters. It has developed systems using ion-exchange membranes, crystallization and other technologies to treat the by-products of fracking, oil sands, landfill leachate, reverse osmosis brine, ammonia and spent acids. Their work has not gone unnoticed; oil, gas and mining leaders such as BP, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips and Teck Resources have invested in the company, along with the Province.

British Columbia’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund supported Saltworks for two projects between 2009 and 2013. The company worked to commercialize its technology in plants built for NASA, the Canadian Navy, an Australian energy company and an Alberta oil and gas producer.

During the GLOBE 2016 Conference & Innovation Expo, Premier Christy Clark announced the province would provide $1.25 million to Saltworks Technologies from the ICE Fund, a program designed to support government’s energy and environmental priorities while also advancing B.C.’s clean energy sector.

The money is to go towards the design, build and implementation of two demonstration pilots using Saltworks’ patented wastewater treatment technologies to remove nitrates in a test environment and selenium at Teck Resources’ Fording River mine site. Selenium is released from the weathering of mining waste rock, which contaminates rainwater flowing through the waste rock piles. If successful, the projects may result in the construction of full-scale mine water treatment plants around the world using Saltworks’ made-in-B.C. technology.

“With support of the B.C. ICE fund, a British Columbian mining company and clean tech company have come together to pilot a breakthrough low-energy water technology for mine water treatment in B.C. Saltworks is building globally leading technologies fit for massive export growth,” said Ben Sparrow, CEO of Saltworks Technologies.

At recent water treatment conferences, Saltworks presented case studies showing that its technology had permanently changed water chemistry to enable reliable, low-cost treatment.

The company has also demonstrated an assortment of projects using its SaltMaker evaporator-crystallizer technology in which no liquid discharge leaves the treatment facility. It has treated landfill leachate, oil sands evaporator by-products and water from shale gas operations to produce high-quality fresh water and solids.

British Columbia companies are at the forefront of developing clean technologies that can be used by the world’s resource industries. With both a dynamic resource sector and innovative technology companies, British Columbia has the knowledge and the experience to create practical technologies for the global market for clean and green technologies and services.

The Ministry of International Trade helps investors and buyers work with British Columbia businesses to grow in key markets around the world. We offer contacts and support through a growing network of Trade and Investment Representatives offices, as well as our established services in Vancouver

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