Introduction: The Genesis of Cimico

Inés Larrea, an architect by profession, made a solemn vow to herself never to venture into entrepreneurship again. A sour experience with her first start-up in the fashion design sector had left her wary. However, fate had other plans. In 2018, she transitioned into a new realm, working at Bellota Herramientas as the head of safety footwear. Meanwhile, her father, Luis Larrea, retired. With years of expertise in researching biological wastewater treatment technologies, various engineering firms sought his consultancy services to tackle their wastewater management issues. Seeing the burgeoning demand, he proposed to his daughter to leave the past behind and embark on a new venture together. Thus, in 2021, Cimico was born—a company dedicated to treating urban and industrial wastewater with a proprietary system that propelled them to a revenue of half a million euros in 2022, with ambitions to double it in 2023 through diverse projects spanning Spain and beyond.

The Innovative Technologies of Cimico

Under the stewardship of the Larrea family, Cimico has developed a suite of biotechnologies that mimic and intensify natural purification processes. At the heart of their innovation lies a system that efficiently eliminates dissolved organic matter, nitrogen, and phosphorus from water by harnessing the rapid reproduction of bacteria. These bacteria, spontaneously generated, proliferate swiftly within Cimico’s meticulously crafted environment conducive to their growth. This environment is facilitated by small plastic spheres, dubbed the Mobile Bed (Mobed), which float in water. Within the tiny cells of these spheres, bacteria form biofilms, exponentially enhancing their purification capabilities. Inés Larrea emphasizes, “The faster they replicate, thanks to the conditions we create, the greater their purification capacity.”

Mathematical Simulation: Optimizing Growth Variants

A mathematical simulator computes the requisite variables for bacterial growth, ensuring optimal conditions. The outcome is water that can be safely discharged into the sea or rivers without harming the environment. Moreover, it can be repurposed for irrigation, street cleaning, or even for use in cooling towers, as demonstrated when Cimico was selected by the Cajamar Innova accelerator in 2022. Larrea elucidates, “In essence, we replicate what a river does, but in a natural and intensive manner.” She notes that while the foundation of their technology dates back to the 1990s, they have continually evolved it with innovative enhancements, likening it to the evolution of mobile phones over the past three decades.

The Dual Advantages of Cimico’s Technology

Cimico’s technology offers two significant advantages. Firstly, it multiplies the purification capacity of treatment plants by two to threefold, enabling the treatment of the same volume of water within half or a third of the space. This means existing plants can boost their capacity without expanding their infrastructure, while new plants require lower construction costs. Secondly, there’s a reduction in electricity consumption due to automated systems that monitor and adjust environmental conditions to optimize bacterial activity, thereby utilizing less power. With seven million euros in funding secured last summer, Cimico is committed to further innovation. Presently, housed in their new facilities at the Zuatzu business park in San Sebastián, they employ 23 individuals, slated to expand to 25 by year-end.

Expansion and Impact: Cimico’s Endeavors

Cimico’s inaugural urban project focused on the Riumar wastewater treatment plant in Tarragona, with ongoing developments in Fuenteheridos, Huelva. In the industrial sphere, they’ve embarked on projects spanning various sectors such as food, textiles, paper, and hydrocarbons across Spain. Inés Larrea asserts, “Wherever there’s industry, we’re there,” emphasizing their symbiotic relationship with major engineering firms who secure contracts, to whom Cimico provides services. Looking ahead, their sights are set on international expansion, with a particular focus on Southern Europe, Mexico, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Conclusion: Pioneering a Sustainable Future

In the narrative of Cimico, we witness the convergence of familial expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, and technological innovation to address one of humanity’s pressing challenges—wastewater management. Through their pioneering biotechnologies, Cimico not only revolutionizes wastewater treatment but also exemplifies the potential for sustainable solutions to safeguard our planet’s precious resources. As they continue to expand their footprint, both domestically and globally, Cimico epitomizes the fusion of environmental stewardship and economic viability, paving the way towards a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.

Last modified: 2024年4月27日