Somerville, MA (October 7th, 2019)

Today, ZwitterCo Inc. announces its award of $1.25 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of the Water Security Grand Challenge, the DOE-led initiative to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water. ZwitterCo is one of four organizations chosen for funding and the only early stage company selected from the highly competitive field of applicants.

The focus of the grant is to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative treatment technologies that will transform the energy sector’s produced water from an environmentally hazardous waste to a recoverable resource in water-stressed regions of the country. Produced water is a byproduct of oil and natural gas extraction and for every barrel of oil extracted from the ground up to 10 barrels of produced water are generated along with it. In 2012, an estimated 21.2 billion barrels (890 billion gallons) of produced water were generated in the U.S. alone. Today, produced water is primarily disposed of via deep well injection, which carries the risks of surface and groundwater contamination, drilling complications associated with over-pressurizing geological formations, and increased regional seismic activity. The goal of the funding is to develop technologies that will economically treat produced water to reduce deep well injection and reuse the clean water for beneficial purposes outside of the oilfield.

“Our revolutionary zwitterionic membrane chemistry is uniquely positioned to tackle the challenges associated with produced water treatment and reuse,” says Chris Roy, ZwitterCo’s VP of Product and co-founder. “We are thrilled to have the confidence and backing of the Department of Energy to help make the affordable reuse of produced water a reality.

“Applying our products in difficult-to-treat wastewaters to recover valuable resources, reduce harmful waste, and deliver positive environmental results is at the core of what drives the ZwitterCo team. These values align with the DOE’s goal of recovering water for use in non-oilfield operations, like local agriculture and groundwater recharge, in water-stressed regions such as the Permian Basin.”

ZwitterCo submitted its application, Fouling-Resistant, Chlorine-Tolerant Zwitterionic Membranes for the Selective Removal of Oil, Organics, and Heavy Metals from Produced Water in the Permian Basin, in collaboration with Advisian, a Worley Company, the Asatekin Laboratory at Tufts University, Heartland Water Technologies, Daniel Shannon, and the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF). To learn more about the grant and its objectives, read the official DOE press release here.

ZwitterCo Contact: For any inquiries, interest, or questions about ZwitterCo or this grant funding, please reach out to our VP of Product, Chris Roy, at