Micronic Technologies, a Larta alumnus of USDA-CAPs and the 2015 Ag Innovation Showcase, is using their water purification technology to rejuvenate the southwest Virginia workforce, one wastewater treatment facility at a time.

Micronic Technologies, a woman-founded, woman-run startup, is the developer of MicroEVAP, the premier sustainable water purification technology that removes virtually all contaminants from nearly any source water and cleans to potable water standards—all in one go without membranes, filters, or chemicals.

In April 2017, Micronic Technologies published a report, in partnership with the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, on the effectiveness of MicroEVAP in the removal of “emerging contaminants,” (or EC), which pose potential threats to human health and the environment. Current waste water treatment plant technology is not fully capable of removing EC’s during the treatment process, meaning that receiving water bodies in communities still contain a substantial amount of EC residue.

Micronic Technologies put their MicroEVAP technology to the test at three wastewater treatment plants serving a wide range of population sizes and communities. Dr. Kang Xia of Virginia Tech’s Environmental Organic Chemistry Laboratory concluded that the Micronic process was able to remove, at 100% efficiency, all emerging contaminants that were detected.

100% efficacy aside, Micronic Technologies is breathing new life into the southwest Virginia job economy, left devastated by the decline of the coal mining industry.

Founder and CEO Karen Sorber discovered the multi-industry potential of Micronic Technologies. “We could put coal miners back to work. They’re not just older guys, you know. Some are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, and they have skills that would transfer to another industry. The miners are used to being outside, they’re used to working with heavy equipment. They could cultivate the rare earth elements from the acid mine drainage brine using our technology. We can license our technology and they could make a living on it, and they could solve a problem – solve a lot of problems.”

Larta Institute is committed to commercialization acceleration assistance of innovative and socially-beneficial startups like Micronic Technologies. We are anticipating the continued success of Micronic Technologies and its creator, Karen Sorber, in more areas than one.