Helping to Commercialize
Sustainable Technology and Processes

Renix Commercializes Ion Exchange Technology

Funding from the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance will help Renix Inc. build a pilot unit for its ion exchange technology and take the technology forward into operating facilities for clients to test and evaluate.

Christine HaasChristine Haas. CEO Renix, London Ontario

“With a major processing technology such as ion exchange, the ability to offer clients the option to see and test the system in a pilot scale unit is essential to its adoption by industry,” says Renix President and CEO Christine Haas. Technology offered by Renix is targeted to industries utilizing ion exchange in their processing operations. This process is widely used in industrial processing in such sectors as food and beverage, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, power generation, mining and specialty chemicals.

The early stage company evolved from research at the University of Western Ontario and offers cost savings and production efficiencies with its Continuous Fluidized Ion Exchange (CFIX) technology. An evolution from commonly used batch and semi-batch ion exchange, CFIX offers simultaneous and concurrent resin regeneration.

Haas says CFIX fits into the concept of integrated supply chains, as it is well suited to decontaminating or concentrating byproduct or waste streams. Further, there are several applications in agri-food processing area, particularly for the production of ingredients - such as the separation/purification of soy protein isolates (SPIs) from crushed soybeans. 

cifx white resinCFIX white resin. Renix, London, Ontario
cifx white resinCFIX white resin. Renix, London, Ontario

SPIs are a rapidly growing segment of the soybean market as their use on food products and nutritional supplements has been expanding rapidly.  Current SPIs are produced using hexane (or similar solvent) extraction combined with alcohol and/or acid precipitation. CFIX technology produces solvent-free SPIs through a more environmentally responsible way that is also less damaging to the product. Solvent-free SPIs could become a unique product from Southwestern Ontario.

Renix plans to build and sell CFIX systems. It is currently in the commercial demonstration stage working with potential customers of existing ion exchange processes to help improve their competitiveness. Renix’s technology also opens the door to new economic applications for ion exchange where prior ion exchange technologies could not compete with other processing alternatives.

Haas sees strong synergies between SCA’s mandate and Renix operations. “SCA is interested in developing businesses in the area of sustainable chemistry while CFIX fundamentally changes a chemical process that for many organizations is one of the most costly and complex in their facility.”  It can offer improvements that make processes more environmentally responsible (for example, by eliminating the use of a hazardous air pollutant such as hexane, or by providing a method to clean up waste streams) or that reduce processing steps or chemical usage. 

“SCA and Renix will have many, many opportunities to work together on bringing the technology into several processing industries.”

Haas adds that Renix will benefit from both SCA’s investment and expertise. “The backing of the SCA, with such strong chemical and processing industry experience, provides an excellent opportunity for Renix to learn from and work with the members of the organization.”

Renix

Based at the University of Western Ontario Research Park in London, Ontario, Renix is an early stage company founded to commercialize platform industrial ion exchange technology. Continuous Fluidized Ion Exchange (CFIX) technology, developed by researchers at the University of Western Ontario, offers cost savings and increased production efficiency in manufacturing operations. Businesses that rely on ion exchange represent over $US 700 billion in goods produced annually in the USA and spend over $US 50 billion in annual capital.

Renix

Based at the University of Western Ontario Research Park in London, Ontario, Renix is an early stage company founded to commercialize platform industrial ion exchange technology. Continuous Fluidized Ion Exchange (CFIX) technology, developed by researchers at the University of Western Ontario, offers cost savings and increased production efficiency in manufacturing operations. Businesses that rely on ion exchange represent over $US 700 billion in goods produced annually in the USA and spend over $US 50 billion in annual capital.

Summer 2011 - SusChemAlliance - Page 3
Summer 2011 - SusChemAlliance - Page 3