Water is essential to human life, and is necessary for drinking, farming, sanitation and hygiene. However, in disaster areas and rural parts of the world, it carries deadly toxins, parasites or bacteria that cause disease. Annually more than 1.5 million people, mostly children, die from diarrhea due to unsafe drinking water. In addition, clean water could help prevent malnutrition, skin infections and organ damage.
The Pittsburgh-based startup Rorus is dedicated to improving access to safe drinking water by creating highly deployable water filtration solutions. By applying silver nanoparticle technology, they have created personal water filters for instant and portable water purification. The technology functions like a magnet, attracting and removing waterborne pathogens. The result is the immediate purification of water, without the need for electricity or pumping. And while most water purification system are able to exclude bacteria and parasites, the Rorus technology also eliminates viruses and reduce chemical contaminants.
The startup has currently developed two products, the Filter Pack and DEW (Device for Emergency Water). Filter Pack is the size of a backpack and ideal for humanitarian aid organizations. It is easily shipped, stored and deployed, and can serve a family with drinking water for an entire year. DEW provide safe water supply to one person for a month. Although smaller than the Filter Pack, the device works similarly by immediately filter contaminated water, and has a drinking spout.
Rorus was named one of the top Pittsburgh tech companies to watch out for in 2016, and are currently gaining the attention of more than 20 humanitarian aid and emergency relief organizations. Until now, the best response to large-scale water contamination has been to distribute bottled water in the impacted areas. Rorus’ technology not only eliminate this labor-intensive process, but is able to reduce total costs of almost 90% while potentially saving millions. With their exciting and innovative technology, the startup is about to take its share of the $18 billion purified water market.
Rorus is set on beginning large-scale manufacturing once the final round of independent laboratory testing is complete. While the startup is currently targeting the emergency relief market and humanitarian aid providers, they are looking to expand into other markets, including outdoor recreation, military and home use, for example when households are advised to boil their water.