UCD spin-out AquaB wins global chemical engineering award

Posted 24 November, 2020

University College Dublin spin-out has won the Water Award category at the 2020 Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Global Awards.

AquaB, established with the support of NovaUCD, is the only Irish company to be named a winner at the annual presentation, widely considered to be the world’s most prestigious chemical engineering awards.

The company is working on commercialising a new energy-efficient method to generate metastable, nano-scale gas bubbles in water based on research carried out by Professor Niall English and Dr Mohammad Reza Ghaani, UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, who are its co-founders.

This new method has the potential to deliver a step-change in the operational efficiencies of a number of industrial sectors including wastewater treatment, gas storage, biopharma, brewing, disinfection, agriculture and food.

“I am delighted that AquaB, which was only established earlier this year, has already been recognised for its global impact potential by winning a prestigious IChemE Global Award,” said Professor Niall English.

“This is a reflection of strong international interest in our core nanobubble-generation technology, and big advances in nanobubble aeration for the activated-sludge process, water disinfection, as well as advances in dissolved air flotation.”

He added, “It is also a significant endorsement for us as a young Irish start-up, especially given the international competition, from well-established research organisations and companies, in our Award category.”

More than 120 entries, from around the world, were shortlisted for the 2020 IChemE Global Awards across 20 categories.

The other finalists in the Water Award Category won by AquaB were research institutions and companies from Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Singapore and USA.

Stephen Richardson, President, IChemE, said: “Chemical engineering’s contribution to society is visible in every home, school, hospital, factory and high street worldwide.

To each of our winners, your remarkable work has been recognised by your peers at the IChemE Global Awards to commend you for the real impact you’re making in tackling some of the huge environmental, social and economic challenges we are facing.”

AquaB is currently a participant in the 2020 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme run by NovaUCD.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)