Access to Research Facilities and Expertise Key to Success of Lambton College’s Partnership with KmX


February 28, 2019

SARNIA, February 28, 2019 – A six-year partnership has proven to be mutually beneficial for Lambton College and KmX Membrane Technologies.

The Oakville-based company, who has built a reputation as a national innovator in membrane distillation technology, is one of Lambton College’s most successful research partnerships to date. Lambton College supported KmX through its capacity within three research centres: Bio-industrial Process Research Centre (BPRC), Lambton Water Centre (LWC) and Lambton Energy Research Centre (LERC).

Collaboration between the two organizations dates back to 2013, when bio-focused KmX, began exploring brine water management in the industrial, oil and gas and mining sectors.

Shortly after teaming up with Lambton College, KmX developed the concept of Vacuum Membrane Distillation (VMD), a low-cost method of recovering high quality water from previously disposed brine solutions in each of the aforementioned industries. In 2017, the technology was crowned Best New Water Technology at the American Water Summit hosted by Global Water Institute (GWI) in Houston, Texas.

Today, the company’s membrane distillation system provides unique, proven solutions for brine management, offering cost-effective solutions for the treatment and recovery of high quality water and other valuable materials from difficult to treat brine wastewater. KmX now works with integrated water solution providers, consultants, and engineering firms in the sale of these systems to clients.

Lambton College originally assisted with the design of the instrumentation and control system on the membrane distillation pilot in Sarnia, Ontario, where they designed a unit for evaluation of the technology in the oil and gas sector. Subsequently, Lambton supported the commission and testing of the unit in Ottawa at the CanmetMINING (Natural Resources Canada) Lab.

In 2016, based on the success of the initial projects, KmX and Lambton College applied to the Alberta-Ontario Innovation program of Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and NSERC-Applied Research and Development (ARD) program to build a unit that was 10 times the size for deployment in Edmonton, Alberta. Designed and built in Sarnia and Ottawa, the new unit was deployed to the InnoTech Alberta Research Park (subsidiary of Alberta Innovates) in Edmonton. Lambton College designed and installed the instrumentation and control system, which was instrumental to the unit’s efficient and optimized operation in the field. The College’s research team traveled to Alberta many times to help commission and train the KmX team on the use of the system. The Alberta partners involved included two oil and gas producers, a water treatment company, and Alberta Innovates.

Most recently, Lambton has participated in the development of a mobile brine water recovery unit deployed in the electrical power generation sector in Arizona. Again, the College designed the automation system for the unit, which was built in Ottawa. The Lambton College team went to Arizona to assist in the commissioning and optimization of the unit. The power plant testing is now complete, and the unit will be moving to New Mexico for additional trials in the food industry.

“Lambton College’s Applied Research & Innovation department has been key in supporting KmX’s research and development initiatives through the Bio-industrial Process Research Centre (BPRC), Lambton Water Centre (LWC) and Lambton Energy Research Centre (LERC),” says Harvey Vowels, Manager, New Business Development, KmX. “By taking advantage of Lambton’s fully equipped lab facilities, as well as their highly trained staff, KmX has been able to accelerate its process development cycle while taking advantage of the cost benefits of working with the College. Our relationship with Lambton College over the past six years has been a great success story and one that we wish to continue as we move forward in bringing our technology to market.”

“Our long-term partnership with KmX is a great indicator of Lambton College’s capacity to support large size, complex projects focused on various applications,” says Mehdi Sheikhzadeh, Executive Dean, Applied Research & Innovation, Lambton College.

For more information on Lambton College’s work with KmX and other ongoing projects, go to lambtoncollege.ca/research.


For media inquiries or more information:

Jami Kloet
Corporate Communications Coordinator
Lambton College
Telephone: 519-542-7751 ext. 3337
Mobile: 519-328-2081
Email: jami.kloet@lambtoncollege.ca