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Tech startup transforming water solutions, thanks to EGLE grant

Meknology, a minority-owned technology startup company based in Melvindale, is implementing innovative ways to make the distillation process faster and more energy efficient, thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Meknology’s CEO Daniel Hodges and Eric Leblanc, the company’s tech build lead.

Meknology's CEO Daniel Hodges and Eric Lablanc, the company's tech build lead.


Daniel Hodges, founder and CEO of the company, says the company’s focus has been the creation and patenting of cleantech wastewater and water purification systems called Paladin and Solace. They both are designed to harness and repurpose heat from electrical and solar thermal power.

Hodges notes that to boil 100 gallons of drinking water as part of distillation, it can roughly take 240-280 kilowatts of power or more, depending on conditions. Meknology’s energy efficient platform targets an improvement of 50%. That’s a savings of about 120-140 kilowatts.

And it is equal to a reduction of about seven pounds of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

The Paladin system, tailored for wastewater treatment, is approaching completion. It promises waste management costs savings, while significantly reducing the risk of wastewater spills – a prevalent concern in the industrial sector when holding large amounts of waste in onsite tanks until pickup and haul-off.

The Solace system, designed for clean drinking water, is powered primarily by solar energy. It operates on-grid, off-grid or in hybrid modes. This adaptability is vital to communities during emergencies, providing them with clean water until permanent infrastructure is established.

Hodges says the future involves the establishment of full-scale water treatment plants that leverage this technology to replace conventional and reverse osmosis water filtration systems, which consume significant energy and require ongoing filter maintenance. The Solace device operates filter-free, offering energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs. The result is a reduction in energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions wherever it is used. 

“Meknology is rewriting the rules of clean water access and redirecting the industry toward sustainably-produced energy and job creation,” notes Hodges.

The EGLE grant for Meknology’s energy efficiency efforts work is an example of the types of funding opportunities offered by EGLE’s Energy Services Unit within its Materials Management Division. The C3 (Cleantech, Climatech, and Circular Economy) Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, for example, supports businesses through local, state and federal programs; validation and testing; research; and more development options related to cleantech and hardware.

To keep up on C3 Accelerator funding opportunities, sign up for its newsletter (scroll to bottom).