Gross-Wen Technologies is an Ames-based company that has developed an algae system capable of cost-effectively recovering nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. The company was started in 2014 by Martin Gross and Zhiyou Wen and is based on a technology they developed at Iowa State University.
“We’ve been working with Doerfer for roughly a year and a half now,” said Martin Gross, co-founder and CEO of Gross-Wen Technologies. “We have been working with them to build our algae cultivation treatment system. They helped us do some designs and actually automate that process. And it just kind of naturally morphed to where it is now, where they are our primary vendor for manufacturing our system and are now also an equity partner.”
Gross-Wen has conducted several pilot-projects in Iowa as well as one with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and now say that their system is fully developed and ready to be deployed commercially.
“A major part of the investment will be used to hire personnel to really get out there and deploy this technology,” said Gross.
In May, Gross-Wen gained regulatory approval from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, allowing them to start selling their product within the state. Now that they’ve gained approval from the Iowa DNR, Gross-Wen is evaluating expansion into other states.
“The first state is always the most difficult. Now that we got Iowa it kind of sets a precedence about how to do it in other states,” said Gross. “And also Iowa is known as being one of the most thorough states in evaluating these technologies. So going into other states should be much more straightforward and less time-consuming.”