Thanks to the hundreds of folks that signed up and attended our webinar today. Below is a set of questions we did not get to on-air.
To view a recording o the webinar, please click the link below.
1. Do you need a huge infrastructure to use IX Water?
No, IX Water systems can operate in a broad range of environmental conditions and are self-contained except for needing a power source.
The IX Water units use very little power; essentially just running a series of pumps and controllers. The annual power usage for our basic IX Water unit is about 12,000 kWh. If our PartiClear is added it will add roughly 14,400 kWh bringing the monthly electric cost to about $208 for treating nearly 40 million gallons of industrial wastewater every year.
2. Why do you call it IX Water?
The formal name of the firm is IX Power Clean Water, Inc.
IX Power, LLC is the founders’ firm, and all of our ventures have the IX Power brand in their name. The “IX” is a Roman numeral nine. “IX” is an homage to Frank Herbert’s Dune universe.
In Dune (1965) it is noted that Ix is classed with the planet Richese as “supreme in machine culture.” In Dune Messiah (1969) Herbert explains that the planet's name (a spelling pronunciation of the Roman numeral IX) is derived from the fact that it is the ninth planet of its sun. Ixian devices are commonplace and considered essential throughout the rest of the series.
In short, IX is where all the cool tech comes from.
This is also the CEO’s ninth startup in 30 years.
(Well, you asked. Ha!)
3. With the new UN report has there been additional movement on your product?
Yes. Although the new UN report is a collection of rather obvious observations. Given the population, economic, and industrial growth on the planet over the last 150 years — of course humans have altered the environment.
But we’ve also thrived. For me, the key is to create a balance of what we need now and what will be left to our progeny.
Air, water, and soil are the three things essential to life and the three things humans impact. We’re proud to be part of the global solution to water issues going forward. The UN Report just presses the issue home that we all need to do better to preserve and maintain our planet.
4. What about cleaning seawater out of all kinds of debris ???
In order to determine if IX Water is an appropriate solution for a specific set of water, we need to know three things:
1. What is in the water?
2. How much water needs to be treated each day, year, etc?
3. What will the water be used for after treatment?
By “What is in the water?”, we mean specifically. We need to know not only what the water contains from a regulatory standpoint (the contaminants for which the user has a discharge or reuse license), we need to know _everything_ that’s in the water.
This is because specific wastewater may have contaminants that will interfere or alter our treatment machines, even if the user isn’t regulated on that specific compound.
Arsenic is a great example of this. How does arsenic get into industrial wastewater? If not through the manufacturing process, it may have come into the plant in the influent water.
This is because arsenic can be found in low levels in a lot of ground and surface water. The manufacturing process for which the water is used may concentrate arsenic to a dangerous level, so we’ll want to remove it. The same thing goes for uranium. Uranium is found all over the planet in small amounts. It only becomes a problem when concentrated.
How much water needs to be treated is obvious, for this goes to the size of the system we will build. Your seawater example is an excellent point. Do you want to clean up a bay in one year or in ten years? That and the amount of water in the bay dictates system size, cost, operating cost, etc.
What will the water be used for after treatment gives us a target. IX Water isn’t binary, no treatment system creates “clean water” from “dirty water.” So, discharge and reuse standards must be carefully examined to ensure our system contains the correct treatment reactors and in a scale that matches user expectations for the effluent. The IX-Force are “water doctors” and just like doctors, we need to know what the underlying problems are in order to fully treat the patient.
5. How do you dispose of the waste that's pulled from the water and used filter components? Are they considered hazardous waste and is there a method to responsibly dispose of them?
IX Water doesn’t destroy matter, so like any other system, the contaminants extracted are considered “waste.” The classification of that waste depends on what’s in the water to begin with. One of the neat features of IX Water is its ability to concentrate waste streams, creating an efficient and lower cost overall operation.
IX Water generates less waste than other methods because our used media is easily disposed of. Unlike any other system, our various treatment media can be taken to a household landfill once expended. This is because our long-lasting media can be recharged in-situ, right there inside the machine, at the user location. The user just “recharges” the media one last time to clean it. Then only the truly hazardous waste has to be treated as such with our media becoming a benign component of any landfill.
6. Can this system reduce or remove radiation?
IX Water NORMClear™ is designed for the removal of “Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials.” While completely tested, NORMClear has not been deployed because no customer we’ve met has had the necessary permits and training to handle radioactive materials. Given that, like most contaminants, concentration creates the issue, I expect we’ll see more inquiries for NORMClear in the near future.
7. How did COVID impact your original strategy? How did sales goals in 2020 compare to projected? Is 2021 on track with planned or have you adjusted projections at this point?
Like many others firms, the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying zombie apocalypse set our revenue plans back a year or just a bit more. We are on track this revenue year to do what we expected for last revenue year.
8. What is your plan for the abroad market? Like the middle east, there is high demand for clean and drinking water.
As a relatively young company, we are opportunists, so we focus on what’s right in front of us or what we can access for modest marketing and promotional costs. We are currently focused on the USA, with Latin America and China right behind, and the North Sea on deck.
The Middle East is obviously a very large market for us, but we can’t get there alone. We have had some discussions with a couple of potential partners, and our stockholders will be the first to know once those efforts come to fruition.
9. Do you have any cost-effective technology for removing polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water as far as there is a huge demand even in the US for removing PFAs?
While we believe our media will trap so-called “forever chemicals,” we need practical testing. PFAS/PFOS are so dangerous that just doing bench-scale tests is difficult. Having said that, treating for these specific class of contaminants is obviously a large opportunity, one we hope to avail ourselves of.
10. So these water purifying machines be considered "oil industry equipment" when deployed to clean drilled water?
11. What are the next steps for the Start Engine investment in general terms once money raised? You are going to need a lot of capital. What other ways are you doing capital raise and timing? What are your plans to go public or pursue being acquired? Please elaborate.
I must be careful here with making any forward-looking statements, as I don’t want to violate my safe harbor from SEC regulations.
But, I will reiterate what can be found in our Reg CF filing.
1. Our current focus is on proving the commercial viability and business model of the IX Water system.
2. “Success” to us is a positive outcome of the above. We are confident in our abilities, the science, and the markets.
3. Once that near-term goal is achieved, like any startup something must happen in order for us to scale the business and to provide an exit for our early investors. The two options are 1. Go Big (raise a bunch of money and create a truly global business), or 2. Go Home (get bought).
Both of the above options provide an exit for our early investors. Both have their benefits and risks. Right now we are 100% focused on marketing, selling, and manufacturing IX Water machines.