Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Oneka Technologies

Wave-powered tech for emissions-free freshwater


Desalination buoys provide clean water for coastal communities without harming the environment

Spotted: Climate change and the growing unpredictability of weather patterns have resulted in an increased need for water desalination. Ironically, however, the growth of the desalination industry has contributed to climate change by increasing the need for fossil-based energy used to run desalination plants. Oneka Technologies has set out to solve this issue with mechanical, wave-powered desalinators.

Oneka has produced modular buoys of various sizes, which use the motion of waves to power onboard desalinators, producing freshwater with zero greenhouse gas emissions. The electricity-free system discharges only eco-friendly brine with a salt content only slightly higher than seawater, so has a negligible impact on marine flora and fauna.

Video source Oneka Technologies

The buoys have been designed in different sizes to accommodate a range of needs. The Glacier, which is under development, will produce up to 500 cubic metres of freshwater per day, for municipalities and large coastal industries; the Iceberg can produce 50 cubic metres per day, for deployment to commercial-scale projects; the Icecube, which has a production capacity of 1 cubic metre of freshwater per day, was developed for use in humanitarian and natural disaster relief applications.

So that companies don’t need to purchase and operate hardware themselves, Oneka offers desalination through a ‘Water-as-a-Service’ model, meaning they only pay for the cleaned water they need without incurring capital or operational costs.

In the fall of 2023, Oneka announced the closing of a series A equity round of financing which raised CA$12.5 million (around €8.5 million) in funding. Marketing and Communication Coordinator Marie-Cécile Cléroux told Springwise that the company is focused on deploying the buoys “in new regions and scaling up its operations to meet the increasing demand for sustainable freshwater solutions, but also enhancing marine biodiversity and community welfare.”

Springwise has spotted a growing number of desalination solutions, from modular, solar-powered systems to membrane filtration technology.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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