Four Successful Exits and Counting: What’s next, disrupting UV Disinfection?

with 🎙️ Wayne Byrne, CEO of Typhon Treatment Systems

💧 Typhon Treatment Systems is a company on a mission to make Water Disinfection Safe, Affordable, and Accessible without the use of Mercury.

Apple PodcastsSpotifyDeezerStitcherGoogle PodcastsPodcast AddictPocketCastsCastBoxOvercastCastroPodtail

This episode is part of my series on (successful) Water Entrepreneurship – check it out! 😀

What we covered:

🍏 How Haitz’s Law may predict a major shift for the UV Disinfection Market

🍎 How the Water Sector benefits from an exemption from the Minamata Convention and the RoHS Directive to keep using mercury even if it is forbidden since 2011

🍎 The 3 drawbacks of all current UV Disinfection lamps

🍏 … and the 3 welcome side-effects of UV LEDs

🍏 How despite a 10x lower wall plug efficiency, UV LEDs start to compete with vapor-mercury lamps

🧮 How UVC LED usually applies to Point of Use and small scale applications and why Typhon took a different approach

🍏 How the fastest way to grow is to aim for moonshots and take risks

🍏 How UV LED also open a path for new business models like Disinfection as a Service

🍏 How Typhon aims to be a knife in a street fight (and what that means)

🧮 How the company’s development may well see its next steps in the middle east – and how having Saudi Aramco on their investor board helps to that extent

🍏 How Wayne created, developed, and existed OxyMem by selling it to Dupont at 3x the expected market pace

🍏 Method Capital Limited, Solar Impulse, Agility as a Special Sauce, Starting with the End in Mind, Visualizing how success looks like… and much more!

🔥 … and of course, we concluded with the 𝙧𝙖𝙥𝙞𝙙 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙚 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 🔥 

Teaser: UV LED Disinfection


🔗 Have a look at Typhon’s Website

🔗 Visit Method Capital Fund’s Website

🔗 Come say hi to Wayne on LinkedIn

(don't) Waste Water Logo

is on Linkedin ➡️

Infographic: UV LED Disinfection


Quotes: UV LED Disinfection


Full Transcript:

These are computer-generated, so expect some typos 🙂

Download my Latest Book - for Free!

Antoine Walter: So, hi Wayne, welcome to the show.

Wayne Byrne: Thank you, Anton. Thank you for having me.

Antoine Walter: I’m very excited to have you to be honest, because there are so many topics which I had on my plate to make some choices when preparing for the discussion, we have traditions. So let’s start with the postcard and you’re sending a postcard today from Dublin.

So what can you tell me about Dublin? That I would be ignoring?

Wayne Byrne: Well, I suppose, yeah, I’m based in there. And just so the outskirts of Dublin, we’ve just weather, quite a significant storm, which is quite characteristic of the Irish winter. So I think if, I think always to encourage you to ignore anything about Dublin is, is to ignore it during the winter months and it’s wet and wild.

And, uh, um, it really is best seen from the spring Springs to the summer. So I would encourage you to use.

Antoine Walter: Well, the last time we’ve discussed about Dublin on that microphone, it was with Brian Moloney from storm harvester, and it was about some water management. So it sounds to me like there is a pattern not to believe that it’s always bad weather in Dublin, but I might be.

Wayne Byrne: Yeah, I can get, I think the Irish you’re often accused of anticipating by the weather and therefore writing off the day, perhaps this is why traditionally they went to so many pubs and they’re not so much anymore, but, uh, yeah, w we certainly have the ability to look out the door in the morning and think what today is going to be a terrible day, but often it doesn’t really reflect the actuality, what actually goes on during the day.

It’s it tends to be, you know, lots of everything, four seasons in one day.

Antoine Walter: We wouldn’t be discussing about UV led in a minutes. So that’s going to be our deep dive and what you’re doing right now. But right before I like to understand something, because when I was looking at your path, there’s a concept which I never heard before, which is capital intensive project as a service.

And that is linked to what you do with mid-tones capital limited. So can you just tell me what that means now? Which I picked fully out of context, but can you explain that.

Wayne Byrne: Yeah. Okay. So this is something I’ve been involved with, I suppose, unintentionally initially, um, for a long time, a lot of the businesses that I’ve been involved in for the last 15 years have been capital intensive.

And, uh, as a consequence, as it’s scaled or grown businesses, serving the resource efficiency space have recognized that there’s lots of challenges that you face. And one of those challenges that you typically will face is the risk and end-user will typically. Have to enter into against their bottom sheet once they’ve decided to purchase your technology.

And I felt that that was probably something that I could help with. If I was going to accelerate the innovation journey for a tech entrepreneur. Specifically myself. And I felt that it was probably better ways of utilizing my equity capital, which usually, you know, has the consequence of reducing the founder position significantly when you burn through your equity capital.

So I came up with the idea that actually there would be, um, the possibility of matching. Capital with projects that still had a high degree of technical risk, but so long as the appropriate counter parties could enter into an agreement, which clearly set out the KPIs or the deliverables. And there was no reason why you couldn’t take a capital heavy.

Our project and enable it in which the same way as we enter into service agreements. So the balance of risk then moves to the provider of that capital. And the tech innovator is then allowed a pathway to still enter into what feels like a capital purchase. And the end user enters into something that doesn’t have the technical risk on the balance sheet, but all of the advantages that come along.

The ticket, our technical option from day one month. One out of that idea was born method

Antoine Walter: capital, by the way, would method capital take the risk? What is the.

Wayne Byrne: Well, I, I suppose look like everyone. Um, it’s always a race to be second, right? Um, so we’re not suggesting for a minute that we would enter it blindly into, you know, contractual arrangements with untested technologies.

What we are willing to do is enter into contracts with them technologies that are proven at a particular scale. And if, if that scaled opportunity with an end user. Five 10 X, maybe even sometimes 20 X, then that’s the risk that method capital would be willing to take. Are

Antoine Walter: you focusing on the water sector or is it more.


Wayne Byrne: definitely wider than the water sector. And certainly, um, you know, talks to specifically resource efficiency and sustainability. So water absolutely plays its part. And, uh, as a non-exec within the business, um, I have an awful lot of contact with, with the water sector obviously. And so I do find myself.

Corralling and driving, um, a lot of entrepreneurs towards that to my colleague, Doug, but you know, certainly, you know, waste to value, waste to energy, um, is probably a hotter area. But, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s certainly, uh, keeps us basically.

Antoine Walter: So now I’m going to frustrate everybody because, you know, I would have many follow-up questions, but I said that those are the topics we don’t cover today.

So I’m going to switch, you’re involved with the solar impulse foundation as well. What do you do?

Wayne Byrne: Um, no longer active with seller impulse, but for a period of my life where I had time, um, I actually worked with them as one of their solution experts. So I basically invested time in helping them validate, um, I suppose, applications from various companies who are seeking to get the solar impulse budge.

And, and that was quite a, a body of work, as you could imagine, to get to over a thousand solutions. So that was my involvement in, um, hugely rewarding and very happy to be involved in the thinking. At first time that the team are, are opposite 80. Fantastic. And I’m actually, I’m still working with them peripherally with Metro capital

Antoine Walter: as well.

I would find an awesome one day to be able to just name, drop that topic. I like that, you know, he’s awesome. So you get me here. So watch me do that transition from solar to. Actually, I know you were in Aquatech because I’ve, I’ve seen you physically there. I don’t know if you had the chance to walk the floor like I did, but what surprised me when it was walking the floor in Aquatech is that.

I’ve seen so many different UV technology suppliers. And that was a surprise to me because you usually know the big names, Trojan, Suez, Xylem, just to name a few, but it was just wondering, you know, it was much more crowded than, than, than that. So, so they were like 8, 9, 10 different brands and I was.

Struggling to find what was different from one to the other. And I’ve been discussing with Paul O’Callaghan on that microphone about his dynamics of water innovation teasers. And he has a strong example of the UV technology. And he says the UV technology took some decades to be adopted, but it was in the middle of the market in the mid eighties and is, is really a maitre technology since the two thousands.

So why. Too. We still have so many different brands trying to have different approaches. Do you have a rational.

Wayne Byrne: Yeah, I suppose, UV, I think it’s very clear to everyone that it’s a really important contributor to safe drinking water. Um, certainly for the last 25 plus years. So I don’t think there’s any, a challenger or issue with people’s understanding of, of how it’s, how it’s contributed, I suppose, for it’s becoming interesting.

The last 10 plus years is in terms of actually the UVC LEDs. Transition. And so, you know, at the moment, obviously, uh, water benefits from, I suppose, an exemption under Minamata and Rojas for the use of mercury and, and to, to utilize, uh, UV in the conventional way we use mercury vapor lamps. And so no, no one really knows.

That exemption is going to be removed, but it’s not going to be removed until such time as, uh, alternative solutions are available and on Terra to, for, you know, they haven’t presented. But I think with, uh, with the likes of Ta’leef and, and others, I think we’re starting to see a time in the future where it’s no longer required to, to deploy.

Utilizing, uh, mercury vapor lamps. Um, so I, I think that what you’re seeing evidence in Aquatech is the start of that significant transition. So you would have seen an awful lot of the UVC. Manufacturers. So the supply chain was clearly on show as where the conventional distributors and manufacturers of conventional solutions.

So I think you’re starting to see a recognition that the transition is taking place most actively, obviously at the lower end of the scale. So point of views is really it’s a new market for the most part. And that’s really where UVC LEDs. Got its first significant tele-health in the market. So obviously to put a small number of LEDs in it, point of view, application is relatively straightforward.

It doesn’t come under, you know, some of the more regulated aspects of municipal grade disinfection. And you have now seen those same suppliers move from point of views, open to point of entry. I think that that’s the explanation I would give.

Antoine Walter: There’s a lot to unpack in that explanation. So first we’ve mentioned Typhon, maybe we shall say that typhoon is the company you’re, you’re heading right now.

We’ll come back to Taiwan in a second. I’d just like to understand your starting point. So you were mentioning this miracle relapse. So that is currently what is used by, I would say most of the players on the market, but I think most is, is even in the statement it’s really everyone is using mercury vapor lamps.

So why do they use. And you’ve, you’ve touched a bit on the problem with that, but what is really the problem with this mercury vapor lungs?

Wayne Byrne: Yeah. Um, well, I suppose the problem is exactly as you defined it is the fact that they can attain mercury. That is the only issue really, um, that forces the transition.

There are. Less traumatic, uh, issues. Um, you know, um, obviously they’re high energy consumers. They represent really, I suppose, an analog system that’s been available for, as I say around a quarter of a century. And there are so optimal in terms of the technical application, but. The reality is, is that they deliver a really, really imperative outcome for municipal and industrial users for the eradication of bacteria and viruses.

And, and without them, um, you know, w we would not have safe and clean drinking water. So I’m not suggesting for one second that there’s something that needed to be removed from the market tomorrow morning. It’s not that at all. The utility great users that utilize these technologies installed, you know, very, very significant infrastructure in order to mitigate any of the risks from the interface with mercury or glass at significant costs to the organization.

But I think as I say, you know, it’s, it’s well recognized that the transition is coming. I don’t think. I don’t think you would have anyone come on your show, even from the conventional market that would, would argue against the fact that one day the market will be dominated by 100% by UVC LEDs. It’s not a case of if it is just a case of when.

Antoine Walter: So just before going into UVC led, you mentioned that everybody knows UV and that it is a well recognized technology yet, if I want to play the devil’s advocate here, but for sure UV is a big thing, but it’s not. The dominant technology, even if you take disinfection itself, I think Lorraine is still ahead.

So there’s two ways to look at that. The first is to say one day, everybody’s going to move out from UV, mercury and UV leg is going to replace it because it’s a better solution. The other ways to say maybe a mercury is right now, a limiting factor and the day you don’t have that limiting factor anymore because you’re a better energetical efficiency and you don’t have mercury at all.

Maybe you can have. A new growth and a new bloom for UV technologies. So, you know, I’ve said it’s a major technology. Do you think it’s a major technology with stable, steady growth in the future, or is it still a growth prospect and you believe in something big happening for you?

Wayne Byrne: I think that the way I would look at it, just to talk a little bit about the chemical side, I suppose I think coloring is something that’s going to remain pervasive in the industry, particularly for network management.

So, you know, UV is fantastic at destroying DNA and RNA for the likes of e-coli cholera cryptosporidium at that particular point of application or the point of dose, obviously internal. Managing networks dosing with taurine or with chemicals is, is going to be more difficult to move away from. And until we have, and I’m sure we will, one day, uh, fantastical, uh, bots that will go down the network and, and keep attained with the use of UV LEDs.

I think we will, for the most part, rely on chemicals for network management, but I do see that. The transformative use of, of LEDs that we open up the possibility of transforming the industry, because it’s a digital solution, which basically allows us the possibility, I think, far more reactive to the circumstances in which.

Treating are dealing with at a given time. So the, I suppose the, the analog solution to give it a label is basically operating for the most part at a particular level of output, which is really erring on the worst case. And as a consequence, that’s a, it’s generating an awful lot of heat to deliver the dose.

It has a consequence is incurring quite a lot of failing because the, the heat encourages fouling on, on, on the lamps, which then requires human interfaces to get involved with cleaning and, and lamp replacement. I’m close to this kind of. And an ongoing degradation of delight over the useful lifetime and the light really isn’t I suppose, capable of reacting to the actual real-time dose requirement because it’s an analog system.

Um, I think quite what UVC LEDs bring to the table is the fact that if you have the appropriate up and downstream monitoring of your system, then you can apply the appropriate dose real time and consider. The appropriate amount of energy required to effect the dose levels. That ability tends simply turn up, turn down, turn off.

The solution is far more sustainable. It’s standard in the sense that you’re only using the energy required to deliver the dose at a given time. Even the dose approach is far more targeted. So we really are effecting, um, I suppose to ask dose outcomes and in so many different ways. We optimize really against three levels.

So one is we use a more German solidly efficient UV dose. So because it, it is effectively targeting a wavelength that is much more efficient at DNA or at, or in a district. Which 1, 2 65 nanometers. And if you look at, uh, I suppose mercury vapor lamps, they’re operating at 2 54. So we get a germicidal bump as a consequence of the wavelength that we would focus on.

We then also, eh, I know you’ve, you’ve seen our video, so, uh, it looks like a scene from star wars as they think you were effective. We’re deploying the photons in a much more targeted and efficient way. Unlike the distribution, geometry of a conventional mercury vapor lamp, we have a much more efficient distribution of photons across the cross section of our reactor.

And basically we’re amplifying the photons so that they have the maximum effect. And the third multiplier is the factor. Hydraulically optimizing. So we’re creating a disrupted swirl if you like across the flow path of our reactor, which means that we’re interacting with, and 100% of the flow that’s coming through the system.

And so all of those things together basically allow us to have sort of an amplified outcome and it delivers a huge efficiency in terms of. Energy and in terms of effort and in terms of footprint for dose rates, and when you can effectively in milliseconds, turn that off, turn that down, turn that off. It means that you’re getting the most effective lifetime out of your led.

You’re getting the most effective use of that led in that piece of critical infrastructure. I’ve yet to meet an engineer that doesn’t see the value in that.

Antoine Walter: Okay. There’s again, a lot to unpack in what you said. Let me just start by checking if I got it. Right. So there’s two times three advantages. The first three, which I written up is, is falling.

That you can eliminate it because your lamps are no longer heat. Which means it’s the perfect place for this biofouling, which anyone which was ever involved with with UV know in those days that the struggle, the second is the limb aging. And I remember my time when I was designing UV reactors, you’ll need to take that into account.

And then a consultant tells you, you have so much lamp aging, so you have to account for that because if it’s laid out for 15 years, then you have to still have by these 15 years, the same intensity which was needed, which means you overdosed. When you first build it. And the third is the fix those, I mean, if you’re using this analog, as you said it, then it is designed once for all.

So that was, I would say the three directs advantageous, if you replace it one-to-one and then. Additional benefits. And I’d like to dig a bit deeper in this additional benefits, because you said this term is a little bump because of the specific wavelength you’re using. So 265 in conventional UV, you have this low pressure and middle pressure lamps.

And one is at a fixed rate. This 254 you were mentioning. And the other is using a multi-spectral approach. What is the reason that you target this 260?

Wayne Byrne: It would be disingenuous for me to suggest that the power and output of UVC LEDs today are efficient enough and high enough in order to literally begin a practice of direct lamp for led replacement.

So we’re, uh, we’re a long way away from that. So I suppose Typhons USP is the fact that we have been able to bridge a 30 cavernous divide between. Point of views point of entry and municipal scale. And so in order to enter into municipal scale, we’re having to amplify the baseline advantages of UVC LEDs today.

So the three areas that we give that amplification or deliver that application is, is around, uh, safety germicidal efficiency. So we take a much more targeted delivery. And so every milliwatt of energy that we apply. Is being delivered against that wavelength. So we get the most efficient use of our photons against the genetic destruction of the viruses and bacteria,

Antoine Walter: but really for me to get that one right for the layman, really, if you go targeted, that’s the maximum efficiency where against this, this wide wide range, what it would be a bit shooting in all directions.

No, you say you got 265 and that’s the maximum efficiency. Very cute.

Wayne Byrne: Yeah. And, and, um, as I say, combined with the amplification and targeted focus of the photons within the reactor, uh, across sectors,

Antoine Walter: let’s discuss that one because that was this, did I style part of your video? It’s you have this, these mirrors and this reflectors, which enable you to target.

So how does that work and is that. The essence of the added value of typhoon.

Wayne Byrne: I don’t think it’s the, uh, it’s the essence. I think the overall optimization, if you’re like, w what we’re actually doing is we’re taking, we can take a UVC led with the efficiency of maybe we’re currently working with anywhere.

Three to 6% workload efficiency. And until you have to argue are asked the question, well, how do you compete with a convention on working vapor lamp, which is achieving 35, 40% all efficiency. And so you’ll have to break it down in quite an unconventional way. And so that unconventional way really needs to consider well, okay.

If you’re, if you’re applying this power and achieving a photonic output, well then what are you getting for that photonic output? So we’re distilling it down. The absolute needs and requirements. So ultimately we have to deliver against a us EPA regulated standard that we’ve been validated against. So.

You know, if we’re, if we’re going to, to achieve that. Well, then we have to do that in the most efficient way with the products or solutions that are available in the marketplace. So the German side will efficiency helps us deliver a bump. If it’s the best way I could characterize it in efficiency, we use a proprietary reflect.

To making sure that the photons are delivered exactly where we want them to be delivered in our array within our, as cylindrical a reactor and the vortex or swirl that we create means that we get the maximum contact within that vortex. So all of those things basically aggregate up into something that can.

Compete and the early stages of a Totex lifetime against what is available today. And I think that they, we, we occupy a pretty lonely position in the marketplace, um, in terms of those that have actually taken and commercialized UVC LEDs for the municipal scale.

Antoine Walter: Let me put that question in the fridge, because that is my up question.

But right before I’d like to understand what you just said with this, a wall plug efficiency. So you say that today you virology because of the technical limitations existing today has this three to 6% wall plug efficiency against mercury lamps, which would be. Thirty-five to 40 there’s this height slow, which I’ve seen on your website in which I’ve seen at different places.

When I was looking for a bit of material to discuss today and the Heights slow claims that the cost per lumen for LEDs falls by a factor of 10 every decades, and the amount of light per led package increases by a factor. 20. So now if I take this three to six person wall plug efficiency, and I’m looking at getting in these 35 to 40, so forgetting about the welcome side effects for getting about any kind of additional optimization you are able to deliver as Typhon, but just if one-to-one the technology would have to compete, does that mean that we understand it?

Rights that in one decade we are so far roughly.

Wayne Byrne: Yeah. I think what it shows you is what still shows you is, is that, um, you know, in terms of where we’ve got to today, I think it, it certainly is. It lays down a, a pretty interesting precursor for we’re going over the course of the next 10 years on perhaps 20 and so on and so forth.

So I don’t think you’d find anyone that would dispute the aggressive transition that occurred within white light, um, from, you know, the Thompson. To LEDs for many of us that actually it happened really, really quickly. You know, we went from going to the hardware store, trying to find the replacement lamp for the ceiling lights to ending up, leaving with something that didn’t look anything like what we had originally inserted there.

And. Gave us all these efficiencies. So it just fell on top of physic food. It felt like overnight, perhaps, but we all know the reality was it did not occur overnight and they’ve become, the cost has come down radically. The output has gone up significantly. And the reality is this that we know installed a bulb and our, you know, an led lamp into our home.

Expected to last for possibly even the next 10, 15 years. So I think that that’s why it is so easy to persuade the market that actually, this, this is also occurring in UVC LEDs. And does not question one of the positive outcomes of. You know, the crown of RS is like UVC has been given incredible attention over the course of that last 24 to 30 months as a consequences of this horrific virus.

And that I’ve seen certainly in the last 12 months, an unprecedented bump in, uh, in, in terms of supply chain roadmaps that I’m seeing for the next three to five years. And, and, and so, and I’m, I’m a hundred percent positive that’s as a consequence of COVID.

Antoine Walter: So, let me take my question out of the fridge, which is your, your specific position in that market, because.

UVC led nowadays, you can see it, you know, with this kind of pens. So you can disinfect your glass of water. You can see it’s on this Fonteyn so you have like a point of views infection. So that is the traditional approach that UV led. And when I was reading the, the, the history of Typhon, it sounds to me like the very first encounter between the founder of the company and UVC leg was in 2013 with this point of view, this infection.

But if I look at what you’re doing today, You’re taking the fully opposite route. You’re saying, okay, maybe many players are in that area, what we are doing. And we are the only ones in the we’re doing that. It’s we target the municipal size and you have a running reference Pence, which is the com Winton water treatment works.

Can you tell me a bit about that one and why you’re targeting that portion of the.

Wayne Byrne: Absolutely. I think it’s really interesting. I became CEO of Typhon at the beginning of this year. It’s certainly, um, taken a really unconventional route for a water tech startup and one that I think, uh, uniquely positioned, um, for a really interesting and compelling future.

The, if you go back to a conventional lesser me, you would, uh, you would imagine, um, after seven years that it would have, uh, a multitude of, you know, small, maybe larger scale pilots known really necessarily taking the, the technical risk to deploy large scale and. Find themselves, usually within five years in this sort of valley of debts, you know, that, that everyone talks about because the risk and water is, is, is really, uh, a very serious, uh, hurdle to overcome.

And, and, and so the journey that Tyson went on with, um, United utilities through the innovation lab actually gave it a really significant opportunity. To collaboratively risk take, if you like during the course of the last five years and four or four, four to five years. And, uh, you know, there was a number of, of deployment iterations.

As you could imagine, we didn’t just show up one day and receive an order for the largest UVC led application in the world. We add to work and fight hard for that and do lots of collaboration with the customer and ensure that, that there was no risk to the public. No risk to the enterprise. What do I find myself with now is, is, you know, Typhon has one customer, you know, at one large customer and happens to be the largest UVC IDD plant in the world, 29,000 cubic meters per day.

So, you know, on any scale, um, that is an enormous, uh, treatment works. And I think that, uh, you know, th the, the principle application is to mitigate against crypto

Antoine Walter: cryptosporidium. That’s cryptocurrency.

Wayne Byrne: Yes. Yes. Thank you for clarifying.

Antoine Walter: Sorry, I didn’t want to too, too.

Wayne Byrne: Okay. Um, so one, one customer enormous deployment, you know, certainly, uh, gives us a platform to consider where we sit in the overall landscape. And when you reflect on. The competitors for UVC led. You find that it’s very, very busy at point of views, points of entry.

And certainly for the last number of years, I think we would have considered that that gap would have closed considerably and maybe even a lot quicker than we would have wanted, but we still find that there’s quite a cavernous divide between the scale that we’re at and where the let’s say the mass market for UVC LEDs.

So that affords us some interesting options and opportunities. And it does certainly demonstrate to us. And I think anyone who interfaces with us that our technology really does amplify the advantages of UVC led. Focus is definitely on large scale municipal applications. The system that we have installed there is a six reactor system.

And I would say is reflective of probably the lower end of the opportunity that we wish to serve in the future. So I think if you were to apply kind of a parade, a lot of this, we, we, we feel that. 20% of the, uh, of the footprint opportunities globally are likely to account for about 80% of the asset spend.

So they’re typically serving very large populations and they’re the ones that we’re most interested in. And they’re the ones that we think that we can deliver the most value in. Um, and by coincidence or not, it obviously occupies the most amount of led real estate within those opportunities as well. So we, we believe the bigger, the led real estate.

The value we can bring to the table.

Antoine Walter: I have a question on your, your targets because you just explain why that is an opportunity in way, a way that sets you as a different player in terms of your reality, but in terms of UV technology, that means on that size, you’re going to be one-to-one against giants.

The ones I’ve mentioned in the beginning of that conversation though. So these Trojan Xylem Suez or soon Veolia is that. A risky position to be in is that’s a crazy opportunity. And what’s different with Typhon, which makes that too you’re successful there. And they are still somehow stuck with mercury lamps and they, they don’t push that much.

The UV led opportunity, which might be for them also the.

Wayne Byrne: Yeah, I, I see what you mean. I think if we were entering into this in any undifferentiated way, I think absolutely it would be a commercial suicide. Um, so I, I tend to disagree with that point. I think we’re highly differentiated. So the fact that we obviously offer a solution and that’s mercury-free, I mean, I, I don’t believe that, uh, you know, the, the markets once.

Remain tied to mercury. I think if, uh, if a realistic solution that’s economically viable presents, that’s low risk validated. I absolutely believe that the market is ready, willing, and able to engage and embrace that in much the same way as you know, did utilities have. So I think that we’ve already demonstrated that the market is interested in.

You know, we, we father dated with an end-user and, uh, we’ve, you know, achieved a USCPA accreditation and validation. So we have all of the components in place for a grilled skating opportunity, which we don’t see. We don’t see that being restricted to UK or Europe or anything that this is a global opportunity.

I certainly believe that he, you know, the, the majors for want of a better description are opposite AC alert and aware and attuned to the fact that the market at some point will be cannibalized. And it will be cannibalized by businesses like ours. I think it would feel unrealistic to imagine that they aren’t already considering or engaged in or in the activities, which.

Their market risk in the future. And, uh, you know, I think that if I was to describe, you know, Typhons opportunity in the future, it was, would be certainly that, uh, as soon as a major declares that they’re going to move to a mercury-free solution, I think, I think what you would have there is the equivalent of a street.

And I think Typhon would, there would be a knife. So you always want to be a, a knife in his street face when, when the commercial Titans are, are fighting it out. I think that’s a sort of an obvious analogy of what potentially could happen with Typhon in the future.

Antoine Walter: Let me try to translate that one because being a knife is one thing, but.

Hinting to, is that the day that’s one of these big players goes and says we are mercury free. They might struggle to do that internally. And they might wants to grow externally, which means gets very close to you. Probably make a good offer that you will have the opportunity to refuse because there are three of them and you can up the game.


Wayne Byrne: D there’s no question, but, um, and, and we’d be fairly attuned with this. And, uh, but you know, obviously some are already made R and D investments and, or are pursuing, uh, a course of action that offers them a path to a mercury-free portfolio in the future. But there are others that have not been quite surprised active, and there’s others.

And quite so successful in terms of their, uh, their R and D roadmap. I think we do still need to have a competition at this scale in order to accelerate the market. I think it will be good for the customer. I think it would be good for Typhon. I think it’d be good for the supply chain. And, uh, I see that there’s a certain inevitability about what I’m describing there, perhaps that inevitability is something that we’ll come back and talk about and some years to come.

But I do see that that absolutely is come.

Antoine Walter: Well, when I look at your capital structure right now, you are backed by Saudi Aramco, which is probably the biggest company in the world. And you’re backed by the largest, uh, UV led manufacturer in the world. So is there a different path which would be possible for you to become the fourth major, which just happens to be UV leg, but could be standing on its own and become the big name next to the ones I’ve I’ve repeated several times.

Wayne Byrne: I think it would be a really big mistake to pursue the strategy that we’re pursuing. If we imagined that there was only one potential outcome and that was to, to exit, to a major, I think there’s a very, very significant engagement opportunity for us and the end-users to deliver a really compelling solution, leveraging some of the tools that I’ve already described to you at the top of the show, you know, the idea that, uh, we can deliver.

Uh, disinfection for instance, as a service, I think is a very real one. I think that, uh, if you think about the, the Totex journey that most, most of our customers are considering, it’s a 15 to 30 year life cycle. So you’ve got a really attractive life cycle. There would a counterparty that, um, is, is tier one.

And, and so I see. But that can, can translate very easily into, um, something that’s more service-orientated, which means that the customer or the end user can step back from, let’s say a, a longer return cycle from Totex. And we can, we can flatten that and, and give them, or deliver value upfront, uh, you know, month, one day one.

And so I, I. That we will disrupt this market in more than one way, not just with the UV technology, not just with the control and optimization technologies that we bring to the table, but also with more unique business models that, that I think will be the CA will take more account of the risk that our end-users face.

And when we need to share some of that risk burden in order to accelerate the adoption. You’ve

Antoine Walter: mentioned, how would siphon today has one customer one very large and impressive one, but, but one is, it’s a target for you in the next one, two years to expand the customer.

Wayne Byrne: Absolutely. If I was to characterize the projects that we pursue today and we pursue to use it a Google term, moonshot applications, we’re always interested in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with UVC LEDs.

Once we’ve achieved, I suppose they’ll serve outcomes. Aggressively worked, commoditized our technology and application, and to be able to generate it at volume and scale at a low cost space. And that’s exactly what we’re in the process of doing with the reactor system that you’ve seen deployed at currently.

We’re also very active in the orangey front. Our next significant customer is actually in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco, and that’s actually a, a reuse project. And, uh, the, without getting into too much detail, it’s not something that you would typically find UVC LEDs. Uh, solutions orientating towards because they require a higher power demands because of the UV UTI concentrations.

And they tend to be a little bit more challenging and trickier, but we wanted, what we end to demonstrate the first half of next year is, is that, um, that we can expand our market beyond a drinking water disinfection on, we are interested in exploiting lights in the treatment of, of, of water in order to.

Give us better circularity in the water sector, certainly a reuse. This has become a very hot topic in the last 10 years, particularly in water stress regions. So we welcome the opportunities that are afforded us, uh, as a consequence of those partnerships that we have with Saudi Aramco. I think the type of things that you’ll hear me talk about over the course of the next 18 months, 24 months will be more moonshots, more interesting applications of the technology.

That weren’t considered possible prior to our entry. I think our scaling journey has absolutely started. And I think you’ll be hearing an awful lot more about that, but probably not till 2023. So there’s, there’s a lot of work to do to mobilize for that job.

Antoine Walter: There’s a scaling journey ahead. And you explain how there’s more than one outcome to this journey, but if I’m looking now specifically at you and your path, you have.

Incredible history with exits, because if I believe what I’ve, what I’ve read, you have successfully exited from four different companies. Is that right?

Wayne Byrne: Yeah, that’s correct. Yeah. Um, I I’m, I’ve been very fortunate, uh, I suppose in, in the last 15 years that it’s not all, it’s not all been roses. I can assure you.

Um, and uh, I have my battle scars to prove it, but yeah, I think. Uh, you know, I, I continue to look forward to the future and, and, uh, uh, look forward to my next one is they say, you know, well,

Antoine Walter: let’s discuss one second. Your, your, your last one, because you founded Oxy ma’am and, uh, you were there the CEO of Oxfam until you jump to Typhon actually for if I’m right.

But in the last portion of it, uh, Oxy Mim was sold to DuPont. For an undisclosed amount. So I’ve thought no, that your office, maybe I can try my chance at getting that amount. Is it something you are able to share a load to share willing to.

Wayne Byrne: I think, uh, I still have, um, a very good working relationship with my colleagues in DuPont and, uh, you know, it it’s, it’s something that I’ve been asked to keep confidential and I will respect that.

They still know where I, where is

Antoine Walter: I had to try, you know, but Oxy ma’am is, uh, is in the, in the business of doing membrane aerated, both in reactor, a topic we’ve been covering with, uh, one of your former competitors, because we had fluence on that microphone with Gilad Yogev. In your resume and the way you presented on the type from the website it’s presented, like, you know, it doesn’t, and I’m pretty sure it is the case.

It doesn’t happen by accident that you, you, you were leading four successful exits. You’re mentioning how you’re you, you are able to identify a prospect for growth and the path to success. So what is that special skill that you need in order to repeat? Success like that one time can be an accident, a lucky accident, but when you have that track record, do you have to have a specialist SUSE?

Wayne Byrne: I think you have to really like what you’re doing first start. Um, I think you have to be very passionate about it, and I think you need to, I suppose you need to be supported by a very special team of people. Certainly I’ve recognized for a long time that within the MNC multinational space, and I have spent some time there that things move at a much slower pace and I don’t enjoy working at a slow pace.

So. Or I’ve found agility and speed is, is basically within startups. And it’s something that I, I really enjoy. I love the diversity. I love the, you know, the ups and the downs, the downs less. So, but you know, without them, you wouldn’t have the ops. I love how much of an impact you can have in such a short space of time.

I certainly had a very. Uh, probably my most enjoyable journey with, with Oxfam and the team. And, uh, it was probably the most transformative in that we, we spun out something that was, was in the lab and we grew and scale that and ultimately sold it to a, uh, a water major with. You know, just over six years from, from that spinach.

So I think if you’re a follower and I know you do, if you follow all the gala I needed, he would tell you the Tivity that the journey should take about 16 years. So, uh, I think I wouldn’t suggest for one second that the oxymoron journey is over, but I think, you know, my involvement, uh, I had got to a point where it could be handed over to someone as competent and capable as DuPont, who I am.

Absolutely. Sure. We’ll make it a success that it absolutely can be. And I think that’s a very exciting transition

Antoine Walter: for you personally. How is it? I mean, you you’ve found it Oxy ma’am, you’ve been six years on that journey, which is an intensive journey. I can imagine because really when you’re taking from the lab, and as you said, you were going three times faster than the market’s average.

So it’s not like 20% faster. It’s three times faster. And after a while you’re out. So you’re not a part of that, of that journey. How has it personally, how do you feel about this brands and company you’ve exited is seal something you, which is part of you, which you, you keep contact and everything, or is it new chapter and typhoon is the next big.


Wayne Byrne: I mean, before I actually set the company up and spawn the technology out, I actually worked within the university team for nearly three years. So it was almost a 10 year journey, but I think that what you do during the start to the journeys, you, you begin with the end in mind. And so you’re always trying to consider, you know, what does success look like and who is.

The rightful owner of that technology, if you imagine the future correctly for it to be for it to be pervasive. So DuPont would have been certainly, uh, you know, on our shortlist for value for the owners. And, and so when they. And they approached us, um, with, eh, you know, within our, um, scaling investment journey.

So there were one of our through, through the dev ventures group, when they made their initial investment, we went in on a four year journey with DuPont, our DowDuPont and. It was kind of a logical outcome. And the, and so none of this happened abruptly or, um, you know, nothing CA did this, wasn’t a left of field, um, offer.

This was something that was negotiated over a long period of time. And the outcome that we hoped and desired, you know, was fulfilled. And so at that point, the journey was.

Antoine Walter: And if you always start with the end in mind, and if you always look at how does success look like, how does success look like for Typhon in.

Wayne Byrne: I don’t think I’d like to reveal my hand there. Um, but I, I, I certainly believe that it will be the pervasive technology, um, when it comes to UVC led applications, I think already knowing the advantage. So we hold over the market. I mean, there’s at least three, possibly even four years to catch up with what we’ve achieved and I’m sure that will tighten over time.

But I certainly think we’re out there in the forefront. And as a consequence, I have no doubt that Typhon will be the market leader for UVC led applications five years from now. It is today and will continue to be

Antoine Walter: when it’s been a fascinating, deep dive, unless I’ve missed an elephant in that room. I propose it to switch to the rapid fire questions.

Download my Latest Book - for Free!

Rapid fire questions:

Antoine Walter: So in that last section, I’m raising short questions to you, which you can answer shortly and don’t worry. I’m always the one which is sidetracking. So my first question is what is the most exciting project you’ve been working on?

Wayne Byrne: I think the most exciting project that we’re working on at the moment is a technology within Typhon that, that ultimately seeks to serve the micro polluting space.

Um, I explained that we have, uh, a fairly broad base when it comes to R and D leveraging light for the treatment of water. So I think. Certainly a believer in the next term four years. Um, it’s really, we’re going to see an explosive growth in terms of needs and requirements for the market to be served with, with technologies that that can deal with the microplate and discharge, particularly, uh, from wastewater treatment plants.

Um, and

Antoine Walter: particularly, is that in that defense to oxidation process, what is it, what your.

Wayne Byrne: Yes, absolutely. I mean, we’ve, we’ve had a long history in AOP, but, uh, we’re we have a, a nuanced, um, approach, which, which we’re currently working on at the moment. I wouldn’t like to say too much more, but, uh, it’s chemical free.

And, um, I think that, uh, we’ve seen some exciting opportunities already revealed as a consequence of the, the journey that we’ve been on. So that’s an area that I’m, I’m very excited about it.

Antoine Walter: I’m trying to build the jigsaw in my head. So it’s, it’s UV based AOP and chemical free. So it’s not the usual suspect, which is UV peroxide.

So, um, you cannot reveal that.

Wayne Byrne: Well, I, I prefer not to. Um, but, uh, yeah, I, I think, uh, I think AOP has been around for a very long time. I think it’s an area of that that is going to have to be considered. When you think about, um, you know, what, what’s, what’s going into our bathing waters. What’s going into our river systems.

But we have to solve the, you know, the problem. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Right. So, uh, so I, I do think that we’re close to seeing an installations being deployed wholesale across Europe, in order to, I suppose, build the insights required in order to determine what treatment applications are needed going forward.

And I think we’d just like to stay one step ahead of that

Antoine Walter: mentioned before that even thought you’ve exited for them successfully, you have some scars. So that goes together with my next question. Can you name one thing that you’ve learned.

Wayne Byrne: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I, I think what I’ve come to recognize is, is sometimes your worst day can actually be your best day.

It’s not supposed to be cryptic. But what I’ve realized is that over the years I’ve found myself in plenty of jams or challenging situations. And, and with those situations often, uh, uh, kind of, uh, a moment of clarity can kind of come along with that. And often, uh, with, within the. Time and opportunity can, can come from that, which, which results in with the benefit of hindsight results in probably a positive outcome.

So certainly that that’s, I often share that with, with other entrepreneurs and I certainly, I believe that that’s something that resonates with many of them. Yeah.

Antoine Walter: It’s a bit of what you shared before that you have to appreciate the downs, because that means it’s going to be up again, just, just after which sounds absolutely wise.

Is there something you are doing today in your job that you will not be doing until.

Wayne Byrne: And it, this is going to sound maybe a little silly, but typing. I I’m hoping I never have to type it ever. I recognize that it’s my main constraint. Um, so I I’m, I’m hoping technology’s going to solve this for me in the, in the very near term.

Um, and I, I tried to stay at the bleeding edge for. Type faster and make less errors and spelling mistakes. I know it could be more productive. So if I can eliminate that, that, that’s what I’m chasing.

Antoine Walter: What is the trend to watch out for in the water sector? And you’re not allowed to say UVA. Microblade.

Wayne Byrne: This is something that I, um, I think is something we’re going to have to watch very, very carefully in the, not too distant future. I think that’s,

Antoine Walter: that’s a very interesting one because most of the time I hear that from people living in the, in the German speaking area of Europe, because there are some regulations there.

And, uh, I’ve been discussing with people who have been telling me, you know, it’s, it’s nothing outside of that. So it’s the, it’s good to hear that. For you based in UK. Okay. Not w there’s not too keen on don’t, don’t take me wrong. But outside of the German speaking, uh, part of Europe, you also believe that micro pollutants will be something big.

Wayne Byrne: Yeah, I absolutely believe that. Uh, I think the, I think the market believes that, um, and we see how, uh, how the, the, I suppose the regulations had, they reveal themselves over the coming years.

Antoine Walter: If you were a word political leader, what would be your first action to influence the fate of the words? What a challenges and sorry, for the broad question,

Wayne Byrne: I think if you wanted a simple, um, uh, answer, it would be to charge or ensure that we charge a fair price for water.

I think that, I think that would be something that would have a transformative impact on

Antoine Walter: the water. I cannot tell you how much first I agree with that and how much I enjoyed that answer. It’s it’s been one of the big topics we’ve been discussing with David Lloyd Owen on that microphone. And yeah, I’ve had some hard feedback on that because I suggested that we are not paying our water enough.

It’s good to hear that I’m not alone on that server to bring it back to me here. But last closing question, I mean, it’s been really a pleasure extending with you over, over the past hour. Would you have someone as incredible as you to recommend me to have on that microphone? As soon as. Oh,

Wayne Byrne: I think, uh, and I don’t know that you haven’t already spoken to him actually, but perhaps, uh, uh, Tom Ferguson, I could highly recommend who is, uh, no, uh, exited from imagination to oh.

And, uh, has started his venture journey. He set up a, uh, a venture for him. Bern Tyson ventures, which is focused on the water tech opportunities, I think is a really compelling Gaia, wish them every success. And I think he’s doing an amazing job. I would highly recommend you speak with him.

Antoine Walter: I’ve listened to his interview with Dave McKim, say on the water values podcast.

So he was since then on my bucket list, but it’s good to have a confirmation when it’s been a pleasure. If people want to follow up with you, where shall I redirect them? What is the best place to write?

Wayne Byrne: I think my LinkedIn is pretty a pretty good way to get to me. And, um, I’m pretty good at responding. If anyone would like to come and visit, uh, our Typhon website

Uh, and if anyone’s interested in finding more about method, capital, uh,,

Antoine Walter: As always all the links to that are in the description of that episode. So make sure to check it out. I mean, you can see the light saber for instance, which I mentioned, which you see on the, on the website of typhoon.

I mean, to me, it’s a lightsaber rim and maybe the only one you’ll you’ll you’ll

Wayne Byrne: tell me,

Antoine Walter: well, when it’s been a pleasure, I hope that we’ll have the opportunity to, to follow up. You hit the next big milestone with siphon. Thanks a lot.

Wayne Byrne: Thank you so much for having me on the phone. It was an absolute pleasure.

Other Episodes:

Leave a Comment