SINGAPORE (Feb 19): In Iran, rainfall is declining at a rate of 25% by 2030 while summers are expected to heat up by 2°C to 3°C. Mohammad Sherafatmand hopes to one day contribute to alleviating his homeland’s water crisis. The 28-year-old Iranian has founded Hydroleap, a start-up that hopes to use electrocoagulation to treat and recycle wastewater. “The importance of industrial recycling is to [increase the supply of] domestic water [around the world],” says Mohammad. “Also, pollution [from] industrial wastewater… such as illegal factory discharge can destroy an entire lake.”

Since he commenced his PhD at the National University of Singapore in 2012, Mohammad has been experimenting with prototypes. These now form the basis of Hydroleap’s technology. In 2016, his friends introduced him to the venture builder Entrepreneur First. Hydroleap was one of the start-ups that graduated from the first EF programme in Singapore. Last year, Hydroleap received an undisclosed amount of seed funding from SGInnovate and SparkLabs Global Ventures.

The start-up’s technology involves passing water through two electrodes. The positively charged electrode helps the particles in the water to clump together, while the negatively charged electrode generates hydrogen gas that pushes the clumps to the surface of the water. Currently, Hydroleap has designed a reactor that can treat up to 120 cu m of wastewater a day. Components for the setup — which consists of a tank and a generator — are manufactured in Singapore and China by third parties and then assembled by Hydroleap at a workshop on Bukit Batok Crescent. The start-up is working with membrane companies from Singapore and Malaysia to add membranes to its water recycling setup.

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