Chemical giant DuPont to acquire Irish cleantech start-up Oxymem

UCD spin-out has developed technology to treat and purify wastewater

US chemical giant DuPont is to acquire Irish cleantech company Oxymem for an undisclosed sum.

Oxymem, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out venture, develops and produces Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) technology for the treatment and purification of municipal and industrial wastewater.

DuPont, which already owned 31 per cent of the company, said in a statement late on Wednesday that the chemical giant had exercised its right to acquire all the outstanding shares in Oxymem that it didn’t already own.

Oxymem was co-founded by Wayne Byrne, Prof Eoin Casey and Dr Eoin Syron in 2013 as a spin-out from the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering.


The company, which was the overall winner of The Irish Times Innovation awards in 2014, has more than 60 employees and a production plant in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Ranked as the 11th fastest growing company in Ireland, Oxymem has seen its patented technology used in more than 30 major water treatment projects in over 14 countries

The transaction is expected to close before the end of December.

“Oxymem has benefited from working with DuPont, as an investor, for the last four years. A world-class water business, DuPont helped us refocus our development efforts to advance our MABR technology,” said Mr Byrne, the company’s chief executive.

“With the ownership of DuPont, we look forward to scaling MABR to meet the growing demand for the treatment and purification of municipal and industrial wastewater,” he added.

Dupont, which is ranked as the world's largest chemical company in terms of sales, is a leader in water purification and separation technology including ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and ion exchange resins.

Total revenues at the Delaware-headquartered group totalled $22.7 billion last year. It employs 98,000 people globally.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist