Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
Albuquerque-based Aqua Research LLC is shipping hundreds of briefcase-sized water purification devices around the globe for onsite chlorine production to disinfect facilities against the coronavirus.
The company, which launched in 2011, has shipped its proprietary water-purification system for years to developing countries like Haiti through commercial distribution partners, and through nongovernmental organizations that provide assistance to local communities that lack potable water.
The purification device uses a simple mix of water and salt shot with an electric current. The electric mix helps separate salt into its component parts, sodium and chloride. The resulting oxidant solution is then poured into water, where the chloride destroys common pathogens.
Apart from purifying water, the chloride can be used as well as a surface disinfectant, providing facility managers with their own system for producing chlorine, said Aqua Research founder and CEO Rodney Herrington.
“It’s an onsite chlorine generator that can make sanitizing solution for healthcare facilities to clean surfaces if they’re worried about coronavirus,” Herrington said. “You can plug it into any power source, even a car battery. Just add salt, put a hose in to pump water, and it starts making chlorine.”
After the coronavirus began spreading across the globe, orders for hundreds of devices began pouring in from countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, Herrington said.
“We’ve been scrambling to get production up to meet demand,” he said. “We’ve sold 150 systems in the last two months, and we’ve got orders coming in for 500 to 700 more. We’re also in negotiations with Japanese distributors to deploy 1,000 to 1,500 systems there per year.”
The company is offering to provide chlorine for free to any New Mexico hospital or medical provider that needs it during the coronavirus crisis.
“We have a commercial size generator that can produce about 1,000 gallons of chlorine per day,” Herrington said. “Healthcare facilities can bring containers or bottles for us to fill up. We’ll crank the generator up and pump it out.”
Aqua Research is housed at a 14,000-square-foot facility at 5601 Midway Park NE in the industrial zone near Singer and Jefferson NE that it shares with sister company Aqua Membranes, which markets water filtration technology. Medical providers can send requests for chlorine to firstname.lastname@example.org.