UA Center for Innovation Company, Sylvan Source, has Technologies Validated by Industry Leading Physicist

Feb 07, 2023

Sylvan Source, Inc. (SSI), a University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) company, has confirmed the validation of the proprietary technology underlying SSI product families. The validation was completed via a thorough process performed by a non-biased, third-party senior scientist at Fermilab, Alan D. Bross, Ph.D. SSI provides industrial-municipal water treatment plants and thermal energy recovery systems with superior energy efficiency, fewer points of failure, and up to 50% lower capital expenditures and operational expenses. 

Sylvan Source has developed a thermal transfer technology that does not rely on conventional heat exchangers. The design is far more efficient, requires minimal surface area and has significant cost advantages over conventional technologies in use today.  

Dr. Bross stated that the thermal conductivity of the SSI heat transfer technology “Is significantly higher than that of a conventional heat exchanger.” He then noted SSI’s operations of a pilot plant at Southern California Edison in 2016 and 2018. These operations performed within the company’s defined envelope and met the cost benchmark. Bross said “There are no fundamental reasons that would prevent this system from being scaled to an industrial size of 100K to 1M gpd,” and recommended the next steps in the scaling process. 

Dr. Bross’ analysis is consistent with what SSI has found having completed research, development, and pilot testing. The business is now beginning to scale its technology. “SSI has already completed some of Dr. Bross’ recommended steps for scaling and found the cost advantage is maintained with the scale up in system sizing when compared to conventional heat exchanger technology,” said Laura Demmons, SSI chairman and CEO. The business is in discussions with multiple potential customers in several industries including energy, semiconductor manufacturing and mining, for potential deployments. 

Sylvan Source, Inc. has been a part of the UACI program since 2020. The company joined the incubator network after winning one year of sponsored entry through the program UACI Sponsored Launch fueled by The Town of Sahuarita and Freeport-McMoRan. SSI immediately plugged into the UACI structured incubation program, accessing mentors in residence and subject matter experts who provide tactical and strategic guidance, improving the SSI business models, plans and presentations. Most recently, UACI worked to coordinate a group of influential advisors across Arizona who have been guiding the company on strategic efforts and providing connections and resources.  


About Sylvan Source   

Sylvan Source, Inc. (SSI) develops novel industrial and municipal water treatment and thermal energy management systems. The company’s technology platforms are solutions for a broad range of industrial processing and thermal energy management applications, as well as complicated or challenging water treatment opportunities. SSI’s technologies incorporate fundamental cost structure advantages with significant energy and process efficiency gains. SSI is headquartered in San Carlos, California and is privately held. 

About the UA Center for Innovation 

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is a startup incubator network with outposts across the Southern Arizona region. For nearly two decades, the program has directly served over 200 companies and impacted thousands of entrepreneurs. This is done by providing access to people, programming, and places that help entrepreneurs take their companies from idea to market. Startups go through a structured program that takes them through a continuum of education provided by mentors, advisors, and community collaborators. UACI also provides access to service providers, industry cluster groups, interns, and connections to potential customers and strategic partners. Entrepreneurs utilize various physical spaces that include offices, wet and dry labs, meeting rooms, a prototyping center, collaboration areas, and the infrastructure to support these spaces. Tech Parks Arizona directs the UA Tech Park, the UA Tech Park at The Bridges and the University of Arizona Center for Innovation. 

About Dr. Alan D. Bross, Ph.D.  

Dr. Bross has no affiliation with SSI and no financial interest in SSI’s future success; the undertaking of his technical review of SSI’s technology was strictly in his personal capacity. Dr. Bross received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) then received his doctorate in physics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has served in various roles for over 30 years at Fermilab, and currently resides as a senior scientist of the organization. Fermilab describes itself as America’s particle physics and accelerator laboratory and is managed by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The evaluation is not representative of an endorsement of SSI by Dr. Bross, Fermilab, or the U.S. Department of Energy.