After years of developing the Epiphany solar-powered water purification system, finally has a pioneer and funder, Consol Energy Inc., making the way to commercialization a possibility. This is good news for Tom Joseph, CEO, and his research and development staff.
Indeed, interest from the oil and gas world, specifically from Consol Energy, which announced in June 2012 it would pilot Epiphany’s solar-powered water purification technology at a Marcellus Shale well site in Greene County and invest $500,000. Epiphany’s system will take flowback water produced during drilling and use the sun to treat the water creating distilled water, salt and other minerals. The pilot project will also evaluate whether Epiphany’s treatment on-site reduces water treatment energy and transportation costs.
When he launched the company in 2006, Mr. Joseph’s promise was to provide cheap, portable and fuel-free water purification units to third-world countries. That garnered some generous hype but little cash. Then the Marcellus Shale drilling boom came along, with its millions of gallons of salty wastewater begging for an innovative treatment solution.
At first, he ignored the oil and gas industry and focused on the global water problem, which is still the long-term vision. It became a strategic way to prove the technology, gain high-profile customer supporters and bring in enough money to fuel the international ambitions.
In April, Mr. Joseph appointed William “Guy” Pagonis as his chairman of the board. Mr. Pagonis is a retired Army general and logistics tsar of the Gulf War, who later served as head of supply chain at Sears. Last month, Mr. Pagonis brought in a strategist to interview Epiphany’s staff and synthesize a plan that he hopes will get a unanimous vote at an executive meeting scheduled to hash out the company’s future in late July.
The options are as follows: 1. for Epiphany to sell off its gas-focused unit right now and refocus on its original, global mission. 2. It could funnel all of its resources into the gas field project and make that its primary offering. Mr. Joseph anticipates the consensus will land somewhere in the middle.
For now, Epiphany’s market turns out to be oil and gas, and its pioneer client is Consol Energy. The Pilot Results should be ready by early fall. To learn more about Epiphany Solar Water systems go to: http://epiphanysws.com/