<<THEIR BIG IDEA>> Get acquainted with startups and companies at Ideon Science Park and Innovation Incubator – and their big ideas.  

William Chaze, a researcher in physics, came to Lund from France to do his postdoc at the Faculty of Engineering. While in Lund, he came across an academic article from a few years back. It spoke about a decade-old technology that caught William’s attention. Eventually, he got a bright idea. Or more than one, in fact.

The research –  made by Professor Edouard Berrocal and Elias Kristensson –  that sparked William’s interest involved spray imaging; an activity that plays a significant role in combustion science and engineering*.

Spray imaging means capturing images of sprays using various imaging techniques. Berrocal and Kristensson used it to study the form of the droplets, as diesel is sprayed into the combustion chamber of a vehicle for example.

William studied the results closely and his mind began to work:

–  The researchers had discovered that you could measure tiny quantities of gas –  in drop form –  in a liquid, says Tomas Eriksson, CEO of Spec-Imaging since June this year.

Being able to measure how big fuel droplets are and how they are distributed, is useful if you want to make an engine better and more efficient. It also helps if your aim is to minimize emissions.

As William got acquainted with the technology, he realized that he wanted to take the science further and in a new direction.

From Observing to Measuring

The big idea that he got, was to move from using the technology to observe drops in a gas environment, to measuring in liquids.

– William wanted to focus on turbid liquids, says Tomas. A turbid liquid looks cloudy, hazy, or murky. The reasons why a liquid is turbid vary, but dissolved gases or chemical reactions can create turbidity. Small particles scatter and absorb light, and make a liquid appear non-transparent.

In industrial settings, turbid liquids pose several challenges.

– They can affect product quality and safety. Finding out what is in a turbid liquid is key for quality control, in food and water, for instance, says Tomas.

A New Process: Faster and with more Accurate Results

It has long been a problem that it is difficult to measure in turbid liquids. Spec-Imaging wanted to challenge the current process of analyzing turbid liquids, to see if one could find a more efficient way of doing it:

– Traditionally, if you want to figure out a liquid’s chemical composition, you must go about a rather cumbersome process. You send a beam of light (e.g. a green one) into a water sample to see how much light that penetrates, says Tomas. Then, you can decide on the concentration of chemicals in the test. But to get the result, you need to go to the lab to filter the particles. In that process, you lose time and in fact accuracy too.

The technology that the team has developed allows you to measure the concentration of chemicals, turbidity or colors in liquids:

– With our solution, you can measure in real-time, says Tomas. This saves a lot of time. And, you get results with much greater accuracy.

A Solution for a Lot of Industries

Numerous companies are keen on the new way of checking turbid liquids. Spec-Imaging’s solution will help industries that need to run frequent tests:

–  Many industries handle water, says Tomas, and need a smart solution that allows them to find out about the composition of (turbid) liquids fast. The sooner you get a correct idea about your liquid the better, so that you can address potential problems.

Beneficiaries of the solution are typically water treatment plants, pulp companies, steel industries, and food and beverage companies, as well as geo consultants.

William Chaze: A Man of Many Talents

A side his daytime job at Axis, William spent countless number of hours in his garage doing CAD drawings, 3D printing, modeling, and tweaking the solution to validate his idea.

–This made it possible to get the first strategic investor, Stena Recycling, on board.

In return for a company being created, LU Innovation financed the first patent. LU Holding became the first investor of the company who got a spot in the Ideon Innovation Incubator.

–We started by modifying the concept and studying the market potential.

Now, the team has managed to produce an appliance the size of a brick, a neat machine that allows you to insert a liquid sample and get a result straight away. This hand-held machine is one of Spec-Imaging’s remarkable solutions. It is currently being tested together with potential clients.

Spec-Imaging’s Hand-Held Neat Machine for Testing

Finetuning and Constructing

– Currently, we are finalizing and making the first fifty of the hand-held, Tomas says. We do it ourselves because we really want to know all there is to know about what it takes to produce them, to be able to manage the production once we find a relevant producer.

The second version of the solution, the inline solution, is a probe:

–You can put it in a pipe or the like and check the quality of the liquid in real time, says Tomas.

No matter which version, you will get the result of the composition right away – and with a more accurate result than was previously possible.

–Time and accuracy, says Tomas, is what we will sell.

Want to learn more? Get in touch:

Tomas Eriksson, CEO

* Combustion science and engineering has a wide range of applications, from the development of more efficient engines for transportation to the design of cleaner and more effective heating systems for homes and industries. It is a critical field in the pursuit of sustainable and environmentally responsible energy and power generation.

The team:

 

 

 

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