December 5, 2023


Unlimited Technology

Memphis startup wants to provide clean water for the whole world

Bryan Eagle, president and CEO of Memphis-area startup Glanris, reaches out to grab some of the company's produced carbon from rice hulls inside their new 60,000 square foot facility in Olive Branch on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.

Production of a material that will shape the future of clean water and reduce carbon emissions is happening in a 60,000-square-foot building in an industrial park in Olive Branch. At least that’s what local startup Glanris is hoping. 

President and CEO Bryan Eagle knows it’s a big goal. But everyone needs to do something to try to change the world, he said. 

“We’re running out of water… we’re past the tipping point where there are too many people and not enough fresh water,” Eagle said. 

Water is a renewable resource. But global demand is quickly outpacing the rate at which aquifers and other fresh water sources renew. That’s why they’re doing this, to mitigate that problem. Glanris buys rice hulls — 20% of the weight of a rice harvest which has to be removed before the rice is eaten — and turns it into a water-filtrating activated carbon.

Jimmy Russell works on the flow control of the packaging of finished rice hull product produced at Memphis-area startup Glanris inside their new 60,000 square foot facility in Olive Branch on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.

Their patented process is relatively simple, Eagle said, and not dissimilar from how charcoal is made. The rice hulls are put into a rotary kiln and roasted at 400 degrees Celsius for about 8 minutes. Coconut shells, which have been previously used for water purification, need to be roasted at 1,000 degrees Celsius for about 12 to 18 hours. 

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