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Water's energy potential highlighted on World Water Day

Water's energy potential highlighted on World Water Day

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World Water Day: Start-ups competed for resources to commercialize technologies that extract energy from water.

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Hydrovolts' turbines can be configured to float freely in a channel or be tethered to the shore.

ImagineH2O, a non-profit that advocates for innovation in how water is handled, has awarded prizes to the winners of its worldwide contest to invent technologies that unlock its energy potential.

Our colleagues at CNET covered the contest’s results in homage to World Water Day. The winners were Hydrovolts, Blackgold Biofuels, and Fogbuster – all U.S.-based start-ups.

ImagineH2O allotted US$100,000 in cash, in addition to resources for business development, legal, and financial support to the winners. Its mission is to incubate new technologies that may solve water problems.

Seattle’s Hydrovolts took the top billing for its hydrokinetic turbine design, which draws power as water rushes through canals. The technology takes advantage of a canal’s water flow for steady power generation.

Blackgold Biofuels, a company based in Philadelphia, was recognized for its process for converting the fat, oil, and grease (FOG) found in wastewater into biofuel. It currently is engaged in a pilot at San Francisco’s Wastewater Treatment facility.

Oakland, Calif. headquartered Fogbuster devised a system that removes FOG from wastewater without using any chemicals.>

“Remarkably, these companies are turning cost-centers into profit centers and unlocking important energy potential to make our water infrastructure more efficient and robust,” Kate Gasner, Imagine H2O’s prize manager, said in a prepared statement.

ImagineH2O was started by a group hailing from Harvard Business School, but it doesn't take an Ivy Leaguer to realize that water is a vital part of the world's energy mix. More sustainable energy solutions will be required as world population grows and more stress is placed on natural resources and the environment.

More from World Water Day on SmartPlanet:

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure