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COLDEP DEVELOPMENT is a French SME founded in 2011 which main activity concerns the development of an innovative solution operating on the principle of the vacuum airlift technology. This new technology – protected by two patents – enables the extraction of suspended particles such as microalgae and/or particles dissolved by flotation, the extraction and/or dissolution of dissolved gas and water circulation, in a wide range of applications (water depuration, production / harvesting of microalgae, deoiling…). At this stage, prototyping hasbeen completed and the functioning of the technology has been validated both through previous results which have clearly confirmed the strong potential of the vacuum airlift in terms of microalgae harvesting and production costs reduction.

Briefly, the airlift is a physic principle corresponding to the injection of air into a fluid (water). When channeled within a tube (injection of compressed air into a vertical tube), the airlift becomes a process allowing driving and recirculating water, and which is currently used notably for wastewater treatment. Based on this airlift process, research conducted led to the creation of a new technology, the “vacuum airlift” in which the airlift is connected to a partial vacuum. The addition of a partial vacuum allows increasing the performance of the system which becomes multifunctional providing an answer to the need of innovative, economically efficient and environmentally sustainable water treatment systems. Moreover, the combination of multiple functions in one single device contributing to decrease the occurrence of breakdown, facilitate technical supervision, and to reduce the costs and the space necessary.