NineSigma seeking technology to minimize microbes and mineral scale


Licensing, product acquisition, limited contract research, supplier agreement
Opportunity to participate in a US$ 240 million dollar annual market


Phase 1 – Proof of concept in 2-4 months
Phase 2 – Commercialization in 12-18 months


Phase 1 – Proof of concept funding commensurate with proposed activity, negotiable with RFP sponsor

Technology to Minimize Microbes and Mineral Scale in Process Water for Humidification

NineSigma, representing a leading humidifier manufacturer, invites proposals for technology to minimize microbial and mineral scale deposits on system hardware. The primary outcome is to eliminate the need for a user to clean the humidifier system.

Many households use humidifiers to improve indoor air quality during dry periods such as during winter. These humidifiers include reservoirs and fluid paths to manage required water. Microbes and minerals are present in most sources of water. As a result, buildup of microbial and mineral content may occur in the fluid path of a humidifier. The consumer must then clean the unit to remove scale and microbial growth.

NineSigma’s client seeks technology that addresses both mineral scale and microbial build-up. They prefer an approach that eliminates the need for a consumer to clean the humidifier, or at least, makes the cleaning process as easy as replacing a device which prevents build-up.

Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Demonstrate efficacy of approach
  • Evaluate fit with government and regulatory requirements
  • Provide cost estimate and path to commercial scale

Phase 2 – Commercial development

  • Evaluate efficacy of application in various humidifier types
  • Optimize cost of approach
  • Technology integration in product line

Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2
Client will consider for advancement a successful demonstration of performance with acceptable economics and pathway for implementation in commercial products.

Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Ideally, eliminate need for user to descale and disinfect humidifier system
    • Should be a one-step approach that addresses both microbials and minerals
  • Provide means to reduce both microbial content and mineral scale in process water for humidification
    • Be effective against bacteria, mold, algae, fungi
    • Eliminate detectable growth on surfaces
    • Be effective with water of varying hardness up to 250 mg/L
  • Preferably, offer a means to suppress microbials and scale from collecting on system hardware for a period of 3 years
    • Approach could involve a replaceable module to refresh the suppression mechanism
  • Preferably, be compatible with evaporative, ultrasonic, and warm mist types of humidifiers
  • Have an acceptable environmental, health, and safety (EHS) profile
  • Be cost effective at commercial scale

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