BioSafeLight, a bright idea
Because UV light can kill germs in liquids, it has long been used to treat swimming pools and avoid the use of chlorine. But the technique has its limits: it only works for transparent liquids. An engineer, a former Arianespace launch manager, came up with the idea of combining UV lamps with a system of tubes that create a so-called turbulent flow of liquids: basically, the internal turbulence created by the shape of the tube means that all liquids, even opaque ones, will at some point be exposed to UV radiation, and thus decontaminated. Pasteurization is energy consuming and does not treat everything," explains Jean-Marie Mascarenhas, president of the company. Some viruses or bacteria are resistant to heating... With our process, the decontamination spectrum is wider and much cheaper than pasteurization, with 90% energy savings."
The applications are numerous, particularly in the food industry: processing of milk, fresh fruit juices, wine, liquid eggs, or sugar - which cannot be heated otherwise it will caramelize. After Coca-Cola, which is one of the first customers, many industrialists are interested in these machines, which are sold between 120,000 and 200,000 euros for a production unit capable of processing 8 cubic meters per hour. BioSafeLight aims to sell 30 to 40 machines per month within two years and is also working on a system that can make any water drinkable.