1 year, 7 months ago from Chicago Tribune
Entrepreneurs compete for venture capital funds by pitching ideas that change the energy landscape
From from Chicago Tribune:
That sign in your hotel room that suggests reusing your towel to help the environment? Gary Eden wants to make it a relic of the past.
"We've all been putting thousands of tons of chlorine containing chemicals into our water," said Eden, president of EP Purification. "It's in our swimming pools, it's in our bathtubs, it's everywhere."
His solution: ozone.
By super-oxygenating water, said Eden, commercial laundry facilities — like the kinds used in prisons, nursing homes and hotels — can save tens of thousands of dollars, cut the use of chemicals in half, reduce drying times and save energy by eliminating the need for hot water.
The Champaign-based startup walked away with $100,000 at Thursday's Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago after holding up a palm-size aluminum card with the power to pump ozone into 60 gallons of water per minute to destroy bacteria.
"The ozone does the washing," said Eden, who estimated that three 80-pound commercial washers, each armed with the company's $500-$1,000 device, would save a 400-room hotel $25,000 a year, cutting its washing costs in about half.
EP Purification was among 15 nascent companies that vied for $500,000 in prizes at the event, hosted by the Clean Energy Trust, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the development of clean energy businesses in the Midwest.