A COMPANY whose invention could revolutionise cleaning, food sterilisation and water purification has landed more than £600,000 to start manufacturing.
Newcastle University spin-out business Clarizon has spent six years developing its electrochemical cell technology that generates ozone which dissolves in water and kills harmful bacteria and removes dangerous chemicals like pesticides before the gas evaporates.
It is designed to replace cleaning methods which use chemicals like chlorine as well as more complicated ways of putting ozone into water such as a steriliser and Clarizon hopes it will grow to make a big impact on a wide range of industries.
Managing director Clive Dyson has spent 20 years developing technology for businesses including work on semiconductors with companies such as Philips and he was involved in the launch of Newcastle pharmaceutical plc e-Therapeutics.
He said: “There is a huge market out there for this technology. It is simple, efficient, clean and safe. It doesn’t use harmful chemicals like chlorine that have to be rinsed away and it uses less power and is less cumbersome than existing ozone production methods.
“There are so many markets for this, ranging from floor cleaning to washing potatoes before they are made into oven chips. And it is easier than current cleaning processes.
“If you look at beer pipeline cleaning, for instance, you have to have someone flush down the lines for 20 minutes, and keep the staff in the pub there all the time. Whereas with this it is all automated.”
Now its latest round of investment from the Business North East Technology Fund will turn the prototype into a final product. It is expected to go on sale next year.
It has been working up the prototype in partnership with established North East firms in sectors such as cleaning machine developers and pipe cleaning. Dyson said that it can go into production next year in the North East, using parts already available from suppliers to industries including car manufacture. It has already invested in marketing and will initially sell to its partner firms before pushing into other markets.
The company is initially looking for its patented technology to be used in small applications, targeting use in white goods, drinks line cleaning and sterilisation, surface and water sanitisation for the food and medical industries, white goods applications such as ice-making machines, and other domestic and defence applications.
The business, which has only a handful of staff at present, has so far been given £115,000 from the Technology Fund and will receive the £500,000 more when it meets requirements of the fund’s managers IP Group plc.
Ian Wilson, investment manager with IP Group, said: “Clarizon is a company which has been working for several years to create something which could potentially revolutionise a whole industry.
“We are very pleased to be able to support another North East-born company. Their technology has the potential to be used on a global scale. I am confident Clarizon has a very exciting few months ahead and an extremely bright future.”