SpiroFlo discusses the processes of New York’s new water-only café, Molecule, and how the co-owner came to believe in the value of purified water.
If you were ever one to mock the notion of paying for bottled water, here’s your new target: Molecule in New York City.
Molecule is a water only café. They’re selling tap water for $2.50 for a 16 oz. to-go cup (like many green businesses, they prefer you bring your own reusable container). However, before you judge, this tap water is first sent through a $20,000 seven-stage filtration system—including U.V. light, ozone treatments and reverse osmosis—leaving the café looking more like a science lab with this giant machine.
To break it down, U.V. light kills bacteria; ozone treatments usually means O3—oxygenating the water in a way that soon dissolves, eating the bacteria as it goes; and reverse osmosis is essentially a number of chambers acting as a form of super-fine filtration. The problem with reverse osmosis is this: You don’t actually get rid of the bacteria and minerals; you essentially just concentrate them in one area (like when you sweep dirt into a corner). I’d be curious to know how Molecule deals with this problem and if their mega filtration system will ever become sentient and attack passersby with gloriously purified water (hey, I can dream).
Not convinced? Molecule can add in vitamins and supplements—including the Cordyceps mushroom, which grows in China, Nepal and Tibet—for $1 per serving. Combos are available for $2. Recommended blends from their site include:
- Fountain of Youth: C, E, Green Tea, H/S/N
- Glamour Shot: H/S/N and B comp; and
- Night Vision: A, B comp
Maybe when the filtration machine goes sentient it’ll enable me to truly live forever, be ridiculously good looking, and have night vision (still dreaming…).
Still not convinced? Molecule is offering delivery—by bike, of course, not car/truck—to the East Village. A five-gallon container is $10.
While some praise Molecule, not all are convinced. New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo conducted a blind taste test and noted the following: “Guess what? Molecule was the only one I didn’t like. My notes say “tannic” — a term usually applied to an unpleasant astringency in too-young wine. All that purging yielded an unnatural-tasting result.”
It should be noted that he is a defender of the baseline purity of New York City tap water.
Part of the problem is that there are many less-than-reliable people who believe better filtrated water has healing properties, yet experience is powerful. According to a Huffington Post article, Molecule co-owner Adam Ruhf “knows first hand the healing properties of purified water, claiming that drinking it regularly helped eased the pain caused the pain brought on by two serious car accidents that left him without a spleen and a leg held together with metal pins.”
Is that legitimate and repeatable? There isn’t enough research to say, but there are a number of fringe books and beliefs prodding the issue.
Here’s what SpiroFlo has found: In industrial water purification applications, with water alone (meaning zero chemical treatments), the SpiroFlo device took biofilm (bacteria that grows from water) from “too many to count” to less than 100 parts per million (statistically zero). For more on biofilm and how SpiroFlo removes it from the pipeline wall, see here.
Although SpiroFlo has applications as a stage in purifying drinking water, since Molecule’s filtration system is already at seven-stages and $20,000, we don’t want to push that 16-oz. glass of purified water to $2.75. That’d be ridiculous.
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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:
-SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).
-Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).
-Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).
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