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University Ice Pigging spin-out acquired by Aqualogy Environment Ltd

03 December 2014

A Bristol-based company that uses innovative technology for cleaning the inside of pipes has been acquired by water management specialists, Aqualogy Environment Limited for an undisclosed sum.

Ice Pigging, developed and patented by the University of Bristol spin-out company, PCIP Ltd, is an innovative process for cleaning pipes that uses slush ice. It has wide-reaching applications in the water industry, food and beverage industry, energy, oil and gas sectors, and has potential across a variety of applications where pipes are used. This acquisition now gives Aqualogy full rights to use the technology across industry sectors, and cements a long-standing and successful relationship with the University.

The Ice Pigging process was invented and developed by Joe Quarini, Professor of Process Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol. The technology differs to conventional pipeline cleaning methods by using slush ice to clean pipe walls without the use of disinfecting chemicals, with little risk, and with much improved effectiveness. 

Professor Quarini said “We are very pleased to have sold the technology to Aqualogy as they, with their many years of experience of successfully using the technology, are uniquely placed to further develop, adapt and customise the technology to other industry and market sectors. In short, Aqualogy are the world’s best placed organisation to make the ice pig fly”.

Bristol-based Aqualogy UK, have been licensed users of Ice Pigging for more than five years and are specialists in the delivery of Ice Pigging services, having successfully introduced a commercial service in the water industry in many parts of the world including UK, USA, Australia, Spain, Holland, Chile, and Japan. Aqualogy Environment Limited are the global technology and solutions division working within one of the world's leading water and environment groups. 

Matthew Stephenson, Director with responsibility for Ice Pigging at Aqualogy, commented: “We are delighted to be able to extend the expertise we have developed in Ice Pigging over the last five years and are very excited at the prospect of taking Ice Pigging into new areas. The technique is a true innovation and a delight to be involved with.”

Dr Neil Bradshaw, Director of Enterprise at the University, said: “Aqualogy are now in a position to accelerate the deployment of ice pigging technology. This is an excellent example of the impact of research conducted at Bristol and of a successful collaboration with industry here in the South West.”


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