City spin-out links up with top US firm

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A Sheffield University spin-out is linking up with a US Fortune 500 company to develop energy- saving technology.

Perlemax, based at the Sheffield BioIncubator, on Leavygreave Road was founded by Will Zimmerman, Professor of Biochemical Dynamical Systems at the University, to exploit energy-saving micro bubble technology.

The award-winning technology was originally developed as a way of making algae that produce biofuels from organic waste grow more rapidly and densely.

It uses up to 1,000 times less energy to produce the micro bubbles and would cost much less than existing systems.

Now, Perlemax is linking up with Los Angeles-based AECOM, which provides professional, technical and management support services to organisations from around the world, operating in sectors that include transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government.

The deal with AECOM is for the development of Perlemax’s micro bubble technology for the municipal waste water market.

Waste water treatment accounts for two per cent of the UK’s electricity consumption, and Perlemax’s technology has the potential to save between 20 and 40 per cent of the energy currently used by each plant where it is installed.

The technology has been on trial at two sites in the British Isles with highly encouraging results and the deal with AECOM allows the US business to market the technology to water treatment companies across the globe.

Sheffield-based university spin-out investment specialist Fusion IP owns 35 per cent of Perlemax.

Fusin’s chief executive, David Baynes, said: “Perlemax is a business at an early stage of development, but is typical of the quality of the technologies emerging from our partner universities.”