NanobOx secures $1m funding as it prepares for market next year

22 Nov 2023

From left: NanobOx co-founder and CEO Dr John Favier, Enterprise Ireland’s Marina Donohoe, and NanobOx co-founder and CTO Dr Mohammad Ghaani at the Big Ideas Showcase in 2022. Image: Maxwell Photography

The funding will help NanobOx, a previous Enterprise Ireland One to Watch winner, complete ongoing field trials in agriculture and aquaculture.

Irish start-up NanobOx has raised $1m in a funding round led by The Yield Lab as it prepares to go to market next year.

The NovaUCD spin-out founded by Dr John Favier and Dr Mohammad Ghaani to develop a highly energy-efficient and patented technology to oxygenate water using nanobubbles.

NanobOx said the latest funding will help it complete field trials in agriculture and aquaculture.

Many commercial bioprocesses require oxygen levels in process waters to be consistently maintained. This can be a significant operating cost for a process that can be critical to productivity.

In aquaculture, or the farming of fish stocks, for example, the energy cost of oxygenation can be the second highest expense after feed. It can represent 60pc to 70pc of operating costs in biological wastewater treatment.

Generating nanobubbles is particularly energy intensive but, with novel, patented technology, NanobOx has managed to reduce the energy required to do so. Its nanobubble generators can be solar or battery-powered, and with no moving parts they are easy to clean and maintain.

The company claims its technology is highly scalable and can oxygenate water at high flowrates.

“We uniquely generate nanobubbles from air that are enriched with oxygen, providing an oxygen-transfer efficiency of 90pc, compared to less than 20pc using conventional aeration,” said Favier, a serial entrepreneur who also serves as CEO of NanobOx.

“Our first-generation products are being designed for the treatment of water in agriculture and aquaculture to increase yield and reduce input costs.

“NanobOx nanobubble aeration technology can be deployed to significantly reduce energy costs and enhance performance in any bioprocess requiring addition of oxygen to process water, including wastewater treatment, industrial bioreactors and environmental remediation.”

The field trials of this novel nanobubble aeration technology that will be helped by this funding are currently underway with horticultural and aquacultural producers and researchers in Europe, North America and Asia.

While the round was led by agri-food tech investor The Yield Lab, other participants in the investment include DeepIE Ventures and Growing Capital.

Last year, NanobOx won the prestigious One to Watch award at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas showcase after pitching their business to a panel of investors and industry experts.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic