Cleantech - or clean technology - makes it possible to combine productivity and respect for the environment, particularly through the development of natural resources. Valais companies stand out in their field, whether it’s in preserving water quality, using waste as a raw material and energy source, or revolutionary processes in the world of textiles. To strengthen the development of their activities, the cantons of western Switzerland have launched CleantechAlps, a platform for the joint promotion of clean technologies.

Water purification

Purifying water in order to make it drinkable is one of Membratec’s main activities. Based in Sierre, the company has been designing, constructing and commercialising treatment facilities for the production of drinking water for public authorities since 1997. It incorporates membrane treatments in its complex water treatment systems. These systems allow the different components in a fluid to be separated according to their size. An ultrafiltration membrane provides a physical barrier to viruses and bacteria.

Membratec is the Swiss leader in the field of ultrafiltration with more than 60 plants in operation, of which twenty are in Valais municipalities. Its achievements over two decades have supplied pure drinking water to more than one million consumers in total.

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Transforming molecules without chemicals: the Valais company RedElec Technologie does this by using electrochemistry. The first application of this process was in the jeans industry, where the indigo dye was prepared without the use of a chemical agent. Today, the company is using electrochemistry to tackle micro-pollutants in an ambitious water treatment project.

RedElec has contributed to the development of the world’s most environmentally friendly jeans.

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Water treatment

Aqua-4D Water Solutions offers innovative electromagnetic water treatment solutions. Aqua-4D technology aims to modify the physical properties of water. The technology restores a more natural structure to water, which has been damaged by the increasing amount of electromagnetic radiation of our modern lifestyle. Operating without chemicals or maintenance, Aqua-4D can be used in homes, irrigation and livestock systems.

In 2009, the company won the “Most Promising European Cleantech Start-up” award and has undergone strong international development since 2015.

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Reusing waste

At their site in Monthey, Satom SA is a pioneer of thermal recycling. By incinerating waste, they produce 140 GWh of electricity per year, enough to power 35,000 households each year. The waste heat is used for heating approximately 5,500 homes. Dry extraction of the incineration residues, a process developed by Satom SA, allows all of the metals to be recovered without any deterioration in quality.

The thermal system enables Satom SA to produce enough electricity to heat more than 600,000m2 of living space.

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Did you know?

The first Swiss electric stunt aircraft was designed by the company Hangar 55 in Upper Valais.