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Cleantech Open announces winners, including light-powered water treatment

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Now that the Cleantech Open –- the self-described Academy Awards of the clean-technology industry -– is over, we have some new, young companies to watch.

The grand prize winner, water treatment company Puralytics, now has $250,000 under its belt, $100,000 of it in the form of a seed investment. The Beaverton, Ore., start-up created a technology that uses light from LEDs or sunlight to remove contaminants from water.

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Here’s Chief Executive Mark Owen at the Nov. 17 gala in San Jose:

Puralytics hopes to expand from industrial and commercial clients into remote areas.

Another water-treatment company, BioVantage Resources Inc. of Colorado, was also a winner. Its innovation involves using algae to remove excess nutrients, pathogens and other unwanted substances from municipal, industrial and agricultural wastewater.

Finalists included OnChip Power of Boston, a start-up out of MIT that builds miniature electronics using less materials with better efficiency than standard products, and EarthClean of Minneapolis, whose biodegradable fire suppressant, TetraKO, turns water into an aqueous gel.

The national competition, which is in its fifth year, drew hundreds of entries. Top performers from California included Suntulit, a Fremont firm whose technology reduces home energy use by regulating temperatures in individual rooms, and FogBusters Inc. of Oakland, which makes equipment that removes oil from wastewater.

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