RN Solutions article in Water Alliance - Waterproof magazine februari 2019.

Straightforward
RN Solutions is a unique player in the membrane distillation sector. The company from Sint Oedenrode (below Den Bosch) is the only one in the world making rectangular units for desalinating seawater and producing process and drinking water. The invention is ready; it’s time to scale up production to a commercial level.

It is immediately noticeable when you talk to director Radjes Nidhansing: you are speaking to a passionate entrepreneur. Radjes wants to help reduce the global shortage of clean drinking water. His rectangular units could make a big difference. “As a child, the news reports about drought in Ethiopia made a deep impression on me”, he says. He never forgot the images. “The global population is constantly increasing, and with it, the demand for clean drinking water. I want to increase the percentage of fresh water in the world from 4% to 5%.”

Increased capacity
Radjes is aided on his mission by his partner Frederike and father-in-law Joep Verbunt, who spent 35 years developing mass-produced items for Philips. The company has thirteen other employees worldwide, all of them unpaid. So far, everything has been internally financed. But why does Radjes want rectangular units? “Rectangular units allow the
production and concentration of a lot more water per hour. Until 2012, I worked for another great company, but they chose round filters. Rectangular is the right shape for me.”

Simple
Radjes chose his own path. For seven years he worked on his rectangular units. “When I filed for a patent for them in 2016, people were impressed. I already had a fully developed plan. People usually only had an idea.” Joep was an important advisor in the step to patent protection. “At Philips, I was involved in the commercialization of products. The importance of this step should not be underestimated. Technicians often forget it. They strive for perfection, but then you’ll never be finished.” RN Solutions’ strength lies in keeping everything as simple as possible, according to Joep. “We only worked with existing base materials; things our suppliers already had in stock”, he says. “I love the challenge of developing something that seems impossible”, says Radjes. “Of course there may be setbacks, but if you know what you’re looking for, it will turn out okay.”

Easier installation
Radjes perfected the unit in the past two years. It is suitable for a wide range of markets, from drinking water companies and industrial water to the maritime industry. And there is good news: the first potential customers recently showed up. “We have been approached by parties from the Middle East and India, among others,” says Radjes. “They found us online. We stand out because we are the only ones making rectangular units. In addition to scaling advantages, rectangular units have the advantage of being easier than round ones to install in large applications, and they can be easily connected, offering even more scale benefit. The unit also uses residual heat. This helps us achieve energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions.” “And create more jobs”, adds Radjes. “For the production, we would like to involve people with a distance to the labour market, such as senior citizens with lots of experience and social workplaces. This makes our unit a great example of circular economy.”

 

Source: Water Alliance – Waterproof magazine