Alternatives: French start-ups in the running

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Although France is moving forward cautiously in the field of seawater desalination, it is its industrial strength that is largely shaping the future of this sector, and even more so since the recent merger of Suez and Veolia, which consolidates the position of world leaders historically held by these two groups. And yet, in recent years, start-ups have been emerging to develop innovative alternatives that focus on reducing energy and environmental impact. Here are three inspiring examples.

Seawards: a fresh new project!

“It’s a brave thing to be doing a feature on desalination today, because it’s almost become a dirty word,” says Hubert Montcoudiol, co-founder of Seawards, by way of introduction. Having just returned from COP28 – THE event not to be missed under any circumstances – he is fully aware of the strategic stakes involved. And to meet this challenge, the young company, created in 2021, is bringing its unique solution to the market. The principle of cryo-separation is not new, but today we are the only ones to have modeled this process for industrialization,” explains Hubert Montcoudiol. Our technology consists in freezing the seawater and then separating the crystallized freshwater from the still-liquid saltwater by centrifugation, bearing in mind that pure water crystallizes at 0°C, whereas saltwater only freezes at -2°C.”


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