Peter Christou, the founder and president of Swirltex, spent years operating and designing wastewater systems. Peter recognized the high cost of traditional membrane solutions and the inefficient cleaning cycles. Tired of the inefficiencies, Peter took matters into his own hands. In 2015, Peter developed a novel membrane technology in his garage. His vision was to create a solution far less expensive that overcomes many of the performance problems he observed.

With the original vision of oil/water membrane treatment, Peter invented a process that spins water through a tubular membrane, creating a centrifugal force to keep oil away from the membrane wall. His invention evolved into buoyancy manipulation followed by spinning the liquid within the tubular membrane to center contaminants away from the membrane walls.

In 2018, Peter, along with now CEO, Melanie McClare, took the innovation through the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) incubator. This is where the company began to make traction with investors as well as gain projects. Swirltex developed a pilot installation for the municipal water treatment market. The company is currently working on a produced water treatment project and is seeking opportunities to treat tough wastewater streams to facilitate reuse.

Both Melanie and Peter heard about Dr. Eric Hoek separately when networking at water technology events around the world. Eric’s reputation was unmatched in the membrane world, and so Swirltex decided to find a way to work with Eric. The team now collaborates with Eric to gain valuable advice on business planning, technology development and connections within the industry. Swirltex will also sponsor a joint research project at Eric’s lab at UCLA in the coming months.