When we look at the ecosystem of cleantech, the challenges of traditional energy processes allow for intuitive and creative people to develop solutions. Not only benefiting financially in regards to mitigating waste disposal but also to offer more efficient ways to process or repurpose waste, thus decreasing the impact on our environment. The question is, who are the hard-working individuals taking on these challenges?
Swirltex is a Calgary based tech company that has developed a new form of filtration for wastewater. Founded by president and founder of Swirltex, Peter Christou, continue to advance their technology for a wide array of applications. Speaking with their CEO, Melanie McClare, their mission is to turn wastewater into a resource and treating it at industrial lagoons. Tied with a passion for reversing the detriment of pollution, their technology offers major benefits to local and indigenous communities across the country.
Buoyancy Based Membrane Filtration – “The Swirltex Difference”
Swirltex has developed a unique membrane filtration system to extract contaminants and solids that are suspended in water. If we consider how wastewater is processed at the industrial level, with their technology implemented, the ‘dirty’ stream of water is pumped through the system at much lower energy requirements than a traditional membrane system. The liquid is then injected with microbubbles in a rotational manner to create a vortex. The purpose is to create a flotation effect for the contaminants so that they bind to the microbubbles, such that their buoyancy is manipulated increasing their ability to float and separate from the liquid.
A permeable wall has the ability to allow liquids to pass through it while containing solid particles within the membrane. The flow pattern used in the Swirltex system forces the water to the outer surface of the membrane where it can be effectively passed through the permeable walls. The solid particles and contaminants are bound by the microbubbles to form a froth that channels to the center of the membrane to reduce any interaction with the permeable wall. High-quality clean water is produced with less pumping power to achieve the same production. Truly unique, this system achieves a far more efficient way to treat wastewater while reducing energy usage.
“Traditional membranes have not been able to perform well in some more difficult wastewater chemistries. So what Swirltex has done is created a way to be able to handle those more difficult wastewater streams, and help produce a very high-quality ultra-filtered water, so that companies have the option to reuse that water rather than disposing of it.” – Melanie McClare, CEO
The Importance of Data Monitoring
Identified with the introduction of IoT and AI, the ability to perform faster, more efficient data monitoring has the potential for major benefits to systems like Swirltex and industries such as energy production and agriculture. Consider that IoT and AI monitoring in real-time could mitigate the occurrence of leaks within membranes, quality inefficiencies, seasonal variants, loss of heat or overheating of valuable material.
Another pressing issue is monitoring the quality of our drinking water. As technology continues to advance, IoT and AI could play a key role in establishing new standards of quality and safety for generations. As mentioned in an article published by Water Intelligence, “Using AI to Diagnose Water Consumption Patterns”, maintenance teams could also benefit in mitigating the time spent inspecting miles of pipe or manually checking multiple metres. Speaking with Melanie, she offers her thoughts on how moving towards real-time data monitoring could play a major role in the future of water treatment.
“The drivers behind artificial intelligence adoption and water quality are not only societal but there’s also an industrial component around saving money. So for example, if a customer can rectify an issue in real-time rather than having to do a downstream treatment to get the water to specification, that will save them money. The drivers are not only economic, but also the increasing societal pressures for people to understand what is in their drinking water, rivers and streams that their kids are swimming in…”
Swirltex has recently entered into a partnership with Edmonton International Airport(EIA). The goal of this collaboration is to treat the stormwater and deicing fluid run-off during the winter months. Their technology is on-site with a new portable treatment system for lagoons. Incredible opportunity for Swirltex to showcase their technology and effectiveness all while benefiting the surrounding communities. Melanie offers her thoughts on this recent partnership.
“Edmonton International Airport is a very progressive and innovative organization and is very environmentally focused. This partnership is to help them understand what is happening in their storm water system, how it relates to the de-icing fluids that they use during the winter, and the overall effects on the environment to get them to a certain specification for safer rivers and streams.”
“This collaboration can reduce the need for future stormwater treatment facilities at EIA and develop a local technology that could serve the needs of airports around the world.” – Steve Maybee, EIA VP of Operations and Infrastructure
If you would like to learn more about Swirltex and their buoyancy based membrane filtration technology, visit their website here or via their social media below.
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Suspect in stolen vehicle kills one and seriously injures another in wild chase
News release from Beaumont RCMP
Beaumont RCMP seeking public assistance in locating suspect in fatal collision
On Feb. 24, 2024, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Beaumont RCMP located a person suspected of theft, in a parked 15-foot cube moving truck, at a business on 50 Street in Beaumont. When members approached the truck and attempted an arrest, one male driver and one female passenger rammed into a police vehicle and fled the scene at a high rate of speed. Patrols were initiated to find the truck and, a short time later, it was observed on 50 Street and Highway 814 in Beaumont at a high rate of speed.
Meanwhile, Edmonton Police Service’s (EPS) Air One Helicopter was notified and provided its location to RCMP members. Multiple surrounding RCMP detachments, including Leduc and Strathcona, responded to assist. As the truck was driving into Edmonton, a tire deflation device was deployed by RCMP, disabling multiple civilian vehicles. Consequently, an adult female exited one of the civilian vehicles and was fatally struck by the suspect truck. The truck failed to stop and continued driving into Edmonton.
The suspect vehicle then collided with another civilian vehicle, leaving an adult male in serious non-life-threatening condition. The truck was located at 50 Street and 22 Avenue in Southwest Edmonton.
Further investigation revealed that the driver of the truck, an adult male, then proceeded to steal a parked 2020 Honda Civic at a nearby convenience store. This vehicle contained a child who was safely recovered and reunited with his family a short time later. The male suspect has yet to be located.
No other members of the public or officers were injured during this incident.
“On behalf of the RCMP, I would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the family members of the victim,” said Superintendent Leanne MacMillian, Assistant Central Alberta District Officer. “This is a devastating incident that will leave a mark on family and friends for years to come. Please understand that you will be in our thoughts as we progress through this investigation.”
In compliance with legislative requirements, the Director of Law Enforcement was immediately notified causing the deployment of ASIRT to conduct an independent investigation. The RCMP believes in accountability and transparency and in so doing will provide full support to the ASIRT investigators and also conduct its own internal review. Events like this are difficult for the communities in which they occur, as well as the general public and RCMP officers involved. RCMP officers recognize the trust placed in them to use force that is necessary, proportional and reasonable and in so doing remain fully accountable.
The RCMP are actively investigating this occurrence and are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a stolen, dark grey 4-door Honda Civic with Alberta license place E98-099. The vehicle was stolen by a male suspect described as being approximately 5’11’’ and was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white text on the front, brown shorts and black shoes.
If you have any information about this crime or those responsible, you are asked to contact the Beaumont RCMP at 780-929-7400. If you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1‐800‐222‐8477 (TIPS), by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers www.crimestoppers.ab.ca for instructions).
Canadians owe a debt to Premier Danielle Smith
From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy
In recent days, Premier Smith has endured criticism from many people about her recent announcements relating to treatments for what is often described as gender transition.
Instead, she deserves praise for decisions that are as important for how they were made as for the gender transition issues that concern her and her colleagues. Her actions on this matter demonstrate how public policy should be developed and explained.
The most important quality of the recent policy announcements by the Alberta government is that they are evidence based.
There is an emerging consensus outside Canada that the evidence supporting pharmacological and surgical procedures to change genders in minors is either very weak or nonexistent.
Sweden, Finland, the UK and Norway have restricted or forbidden the use of these treatments on minors, as have twenty-three American states. Ms. Smith referred to these in her press conference announcing the changes her government is making.
Leaders in other countries have done this after conducting detailed studies including one by the UK High Court of Justice and another by Dr. Hilary Cass, a former President of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom
Dr. Cass is an independent expert commissioned to provide advice to the National Health Service on gender treatments. She concluded that “evidence on the appropriate management of children with gender incongruence is inconclusive both nationally and internationally’’.
The second reason the decisions taken by Alberta are important is that they were taken despite ideology advocated by the Government of Canada and the unwillingness of federal officials including the Prime Minster to support their opposition to the Alberta policies with any evidence.
In his initial comments, the Prime Minister made no reference to any of the many studies that have been done describing the dangers of pharmacological and surgical procedures to change the gender of minor children.
He also displayed no understanding of the experiences of other countries on this matter. He did not refer to the Cass report and its seminal conclusions.
The comments by Federal Health Minister Mark Holland lacked any evidence the public could use. He also used offensive rhetoric.
Mr. Holland described the Alberta decisions as being behaviour that is “extremely dangerous to engage in …. which is, I think, playing politics about children’s lives.” He also referred to the “devastation that its going to bring”, referring to the Alberta changes.
Federal communications marked by a factual vacuum and excessive language are not going to help resolve serious differences of opinion on serious issues. They are also not condusive to good relations between the federal government and an important province.
The third and particularly significant reason the recent changes announced by the Alberta government are so important is that they will protect children.
Adolescence, a phase of child development that has been with us for thousands of years, is an important part of everyone’s life.
It is a vital part of what it means to be human. Delaying or blocking it is dangerous, something that many observers have noted but that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health do not recognize.
Federal leaders need to inform themselves, particularly about the negative impact of puberty blockers on bone and brain development and the lifelong medical attention many transitioners will need because of the pharmacological and surgical procedures used on them to change genders.
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Health should also learn about the increasingly large number of transitioners who regret their transition and later seek to reverse it. Their situation is particularly tragic because many of the negative consequences of changing genders in children cannot be reversed.
Federal leaders also support hiding from parents the decisions children make in schools about the pronouns they use to describe their genders. This is another practice that many feel is harmful and divisive.
The federal perspective on this is unreasonable.
Our species survived over the centuries because the first priority for most parents is their children and most take good care of them.
There is no basis for a lack of trust in them and in the relatively few cases where parents do not provide appropriate care, the child protection laws come into play.
It is particularly important that federal leaders recognize the grave problems that puberty blockers and related surgeries often pose for children who are gays or lesbians.
These children sometimes display some of the attributes of the opposite sex as they grow, and these are often misinterpreted as gender dysphoria. They then get treated for a problem they don’t have, with serious lifelong consequences.
Unfortunately, this happens in many Canadian pediatric hospitals.
There is nothing wrong with these children. They should be allowed to develop and grow in their own way and be who they are. That means no puberty blockers or surgeries to change them.
The fourth reason to respect the new directions on gender issues Ms. Smith and her colleagues have decided upon is the moderation displayed by the Alberta government in putting them forward and communicating with the public about them.
The language used has been understated. The changes are lawful in every respect including in relation to the Charter of Rights and Freedom and other legislation.
The evidence has been clearly presented in a way most citizens can readily understand and great care has been taken to deal with those who may have concerns thoughtfully, including allowing time for debate and discussion before the changes are made.
This is a good example of how governments should behave. Federal leaders should show some respect for the approaches taken by Ms. Smith and her colleagues as they dealt with a very complex issue.
The final reason for the importance of the Alberta approach is that it has avoided many of the problems associated with medical practice standards and regulation that are so evident in Canada and which have been a major cause of the difficulties our country faces on gender issues.
Provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons and many regulators elsewhere regulate doctors based largely on prevailing practices by physicians rather than clinical outcomes.
This means that there have been many cases over the years, in Canada and elsewhere, where evidence to support medical procedures has been lacking. Current practices toward gender dysphoria in Canada and some US states are examples.
In these cases, if something is done often enough by enough doctors, that procedure becomes the standard and not clinical outcomes. This often leads to perverse outcomes that everyone ultimately regrets.
In the years to come, unless we change course soon and unless others follow the Alberta path, people will be wondering how the problems summarized in this article developed and why we damaged so many children by an approach defined more by ideology than factual reality.
David MacKinnon is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy