Water, Sewage & Effluent January-February 2017 - Page 33

Commercialising the technology
The method was invented at the University of Bristol , UK , where Professor Joe Quarini , head of mechanical engineering , had a genuine ‘ Eureka !’ moment while pondering ways of reducing the amount of water used in the food industry ’ s cleaning processes .
The rights to the technology in the water industry were acquired by Suez in 2010 , via subsidiary Agbar Environment UK , the commercial arm of the Barcelona water company , Agbar . Agbar was also the owners of Bristol Water , responsible for supplying drinking water to a population of over one million in South-West England .
It was Bristol Water that made the leap of faith with the University of Bristol to industrialise the process , by taking the technology from the laboratory to perform full-scale testing on their own network . Many water companies at the time perceived the process as risky and questioned whether if the pipes were to crack with cold shock , would it block customer supply pipes — and would it actually work ?
In 2014 , Suez brokered a deal with the University of Bristol to extend its ownership of the technology to cover all industries . Despite a number of corporate name changes , the heritage of the Suez Ice Pigging offer has remained consistent , with a number of original key staff from Bristol Water still involved with the process and its commercial and technical development . Six PhD graduates from the University with specialisms in ice pigging have since joined Suez .
Technical developments
Key technical developments that have given the technology momentum include the ability to clean big pipes — now up to 700mm in networking tech news environment industry infrastructure municipalities
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