News Release

Porifera Selected for Proposed $1M Award by the California Energy Commission

Public-Private Partnership and proposed award will help Hayward business perform R&D on its novel dprShield technology for direct potable reuse

Brianne Elizarrey | May 11, 2016

Image courtesy of Porifera: CAD rendering of a water treatment system.

Hayward, California – May 11, 2016 – Porifera, Inc. a Hayward-based startup focused on developing advanced systems for water treatment, announced today that it was recommended by the California Energy Commission (CEC), for a proposed award totaling just under $1M. The proposed award will fund research and development of its dprShield Water Treatment System. This system introduces a fail-safe, low energy technology for enabling direct potable reuse (DPR). Fail-safe DPR can help effectively address California’s severe drought by providing a new source of water that can be implemented anywhere, with less energy consumption than seawater desalination and water transfers.

 “The award enables us to demonstrate a technology that will open the door to DPR in California and nationwide. We are extremely grateful that the CEC recognizes the importance of this type of work” said Dr. Olgica Bakajin, CEO of Porifera. 

Porifera’s partners include the City of Hayward’s Water Pollution Control Facility, Orange County Water District, Stanford University, and industry consultant CDM Smith. Porifera will develop, build, install, and operate the technology. Their partners will collect samples and perform analysis to assess water quality, integrity monitoring performance, costs, and energy use.

“Partnering with Porifera’s energy efficient direct potable reuse project at the Hayward Water Pollution Control Facility is consistent with our sustainability policies and with our commitment to supporting businesses in our Industrial Technology and Innovation Corridor,” said City Manager Fran David.  “If successful, this project has the potential to benefit communities like Hayward by increasing wastewater reuse and saving energy by pioneering new wastewater treatment technologies.”

Porifera’s proposals were selected by the Energy Commission from a field of 15 candidate proposals. Of the 15 proposals, six were selected for funding, for a total award funding level of $5.8M. Other awardees included UC Davis and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. More information about the CEC’s proposed award for this program (GFO-15-317) can be found at the Energy Commission website. 

About Porifera

Porifera is a San Francisco Bay Area startup, based in Hayward, California. Porifera has pioneered development of forward osmosis membranes and systems for water treatment. Porifera has successfully executed projects for the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and NASA to demonstrate, design water treatment systems that are low-fouling and energy efficient. These systems are now being built and sold to customers worldwide.  The company was recently featured in the City’s Hayward Made video series that highlights the innovative businesses that call Hayward home.