RICHMOND, B.C. – EnvirEau Technologies, Richmond, B.C., has developed and is now marketing environmentally responsible and metallic mineral-based biocides, fungicides and algaecides that use minute quantities of mineral ions, including copper, zinc or silver, or combination of these minerals, to protect water, wastewater, food and disease control in crops.

The company’s self-mixing compounds can control algae and bacteria in potable water reservoirs, odor and bacteria in waste treatment facilities and disease in plants and foods.

EnvirEau was created after Frank Varseveld, president and chief executive officer, arranged the purchase of the intellectual property of another company and went to work on research and development in 2005. “We wanted to come up with a means of reducing the synthetic chemical pesticides in use today for controlling micro-organisms in water, soil and food,” said Varseveld, an engineer. “This is a global need, and we felt it was important to improve the sustainability of our planet.”

Varseveld turned to the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (N.R.C.-I.R.A.P.) for help with the R&D phase of the company’s development. Thanks to the N.R.C.-I.R.A.P. contribution EnvirEau received, the firm was able to conduct laboratory and field testing to improve the ionization of the minerals in its products.

“I.R.A.P.’s contribution was really important to optimize the performance of the product and to make it more valuable to the end-user,” Varseveld said. “The N.R.C.-I.R.A.P. industrial technology advisor that the company worked with also helped EnvirEau organize its projects.”

The company’s products can replace synthetic chemical pesticides, fungicides, biocides and disinfectants, including chlorine. They don’t harm the people handling them, and have minimal side effects for the environment, according to Varseveld.

The private company is now marketing its products through distributors in nine countries in Europe and Asia.