AquaSens: A quick and easy device for winemakers

AquaSens may provide a way of optimising the addition of sulfur dioxide in wine making. Sulfur dioxide is added to protect wine from spoilage by bacteria and oxidation, and to keep volatile acidity at desirable levels.

CleanFutures is asking winemakers to consider their use of sulfur dioxide by answering 10 very quick questions. Click here to take survey. Responses to the survey will help guide the development of the AquaSens sulfite application for the industry.

Sulfur dioxide and sulfites are difficult to measure due to their ability to bind to other compounds. AquaSens offers the ability to measure sulfites which may be used to monitor sulfur dioxide levels during winemaking and prevent problems associated with too little being added (microbial growth), or too much (a harsher palate and undesirable aroma).

In a collaboration between The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), Flinders University, Monash University and CleanFutures, research is being conducted to test the sulfite application for AquaSens and develop processes so that it can be used as a portable, accurate and simple-to-use device for measuring sulfites in wine.


March 10, 2010 at 12:53 am Leave a comment

Adelaide Company Secures Grant to Commercialise World Leading Biosensor

MEDIA RELEASE: 15 September 2009

An Adelaide company has secured funding to finalise prototypes and complete testing of a biosensor technology that is set to revolutionise the testing of water, wine and food throughout the world.

CleanFutures AquaSens, based in Adelaide, was formed specifically to develop the AquaSens biosensor. The technology is a rapid, highly sensitive sensor probe for the detection of nitrates and phosphates in water, and sulfites in wine and food products.

The technology was developed by Monash University in Victoria and had started its commercialisation process through a Victorian State Government body, Nanotechnology Victoria. When the funding was wound down for this body earlier this year, two South Australian entrepreneurs set about bringing the technology to Adelaide for further commercial development.

Kristin Alford and John O’Brien saw the global opportunity for the technology, secured the exclusive rights to commercialise it and established CleanFutures to bring to it to market.

Bio Innovation SA recognised this potential and has provided funding through its Business Development Initiative(BDI) grant to allow the final testing to be completed.

“We are to support CleanFutures AquaSens and are excited about the potential their technology has for the water, wine and food industries,” said Mr Neil Finlayson, Bio Innovation SA’s Business Development Director.

The funding will enable CleanFutures AquaSens to design and manufacture industrial prototypes of the biosensor and to then conduct customer trials. One of these trials will be completed with the Australian Water Quality Centre, SA Water’s testing laboratory.

The technology allows for tests to be completed immediately and in the field rather than taking samples for further analysis in a laboratory. Results are within minutes rather than having to wait a week or more. Increased phosphates and nitrate levels are key indicators of the likelihood of blue-green algae forming. The use of this biosensor could provide early warning of problems in water bodies such as the River Murray.

“The BDI grant will enable CleanFutures AquaSens to complete critical milestones essential for progress through commercialisation, including designing and manufacturing an industrial prototype and conducting customer trials.”
“We are excited to be able to further the early commercialisation work conducted by Nanotechnology Victoria and Monash University”, said CleanFutures AquaSens’ CEO, Kristin Alford.

The issue of sulfite in wine is currently a major problem for the industry: as it is hard to detect and it is estimated that 1% of the population are sulfite-sensitive. With South Australia’s position as a leader in wine production, the development of the sulfite biosensor here is a natural fit. CleanFutures has arranged for the technology’s inventor, Professor Sam Adeloju from Monash, to work with both Flinders University and The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) to finalise the required research for the sulfite application of the AquaSens technology.

“Once proven the sulfite biosensor will enable all wineries to test every barrel of wine and make sure that sulfite levels are managed effectively. This will provide clearer consumer information for those that are sensitive to sulfite,” said John O’Brien, CleanFutures AquaSens’ CFO.

“The ability to test both water and wine on the spot will enable water companies and wine makers to be able to manage their products better. We believe that this technology will revolutionise testing the world over and further enhance South Australia’s reputation for clean technologies,” Dr Alford added.

Kristin Alford
CEO, CleanFutures AquaSens
Ph: 0410 442 629

John O’Brien
CFO, CleanFutures AquaSens
Ph: 0419 826 372

September 15, 2009 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

CleanFutures focuses on AquaSens as CleanFutures AquaSens Pty Ltd

CleanFutures is now primarily focussed on developing its AquaSens technology under the new trading name: CleanFutures AquaSens Pty Ltd.

AquaSens, is a rapid, highly sensitive sensor probe for the detection of nitrates and phosphates in water, and sulfites in wine and food products.

The CleanFutures team consists of :

  • Dr Kristin Alford Chief Executive Officer
  • John O’Brien Chief Financial Officer
  • Alexandra Smart Product Development and IP Manager

Technical Advisors to CleanFutures Aquasens Pty Ltd are:

  • Dr Sarah Morgan, independent consultant, ex-NanoVentures Australia and Nanotechnology Victoria.
  • Prof Sam Adeloju, Monash University.

CleanFutures AquaSens is currently pursuing investment around the AquaSens technology with range of potential investors. It is hoped that funding will enable the technology to move through commercialisation, including designing and manufacturing an industrial prototype and conducting customer trials. Development will initially focus on applications in phosphate and nitrate detection, however meetings have commenced planning further R&D around sulfite measurement for the wine industry.

July 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

CleanFutures demonstrates SA leadership in sustainable technologies

Media Release: February 18, 2008

South Australia continues to be a focal point for expertise in clean and sustainable technologies with the launch of new venture CleanFutures.

CleanFutures is a joint venture of NanoVentures Australia, Australian CleanTech and Bridge8 with the goal of successfully commercialising nanotechnologies that enable clean futures. Our combination of capabilities and connections means we are able to successfully fund and commercialise technologies that enable clean futures.

By combining the IP, technology transfer and commercialisation project management skills of NanoVentures Australia (NVA), with the clean technology and investment market knowledge of Australian CleanTech and the futures work, government networks and marketing capability of Bridge8, CleanFutures plans to establish the template for the commercialisation of enabling technologies.

Dr Kristin Alford, Managing Director of foresight and science communications firm Bridge8 Pty Ltd, said “Technologies that succeed in the future will be ones that serve the community in a sustainable way. These emerging technologies will developed by combining many disciplines. Our combination of skills means we can take an innovative and integrated approach to commercialisation and makes this joint venture an attractive proposition for South Australia.”

Commenting on the launch of CleanFutures, Barry Brook, the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide, said, “There is an urgent need for innovative solutions and new technologies to address the ever more present problem of climate change. The opportunities for those that provide these solutions are huge.”

CleanFutures has commenced planning for its first three technologies:

  • Carbon nanotube composites for wind turbine blades;
  • Aquasens, a rapid, highly sensitive sensor probe for the detection of nitrates and phosphates in water, and sulphites in wine and food products; and
  • Oxipure, a patented technology for the effective removal of contaminants including arsenic, phosphates and silicates from environmental waters.

It is believed that there are many future applications that will be brought to market through the integrated approach of nanotechnology and cleantech: an approach that appears to be a world first.

John O’Brien, Managing Director of Australian CleanTech, said “Nanotechnology provides many of the enabling mechanisms that allow cleantech companies to deliver both environmental benefits and investment returns. I am very excited about the launch of CleanFutures, as I believe it has the potential to deliver many game changing technologies with benefits for the community, the environment and the economy. These technologies will enable the future to be clean.”

Dr Peter Binks, CEO of NanoVentures Australia, said “NanoVentures Australia has a portfolio of cleantech technologies ready for market. We see great opportunities in South Australia, with its outstanding research base and strong manufacturing industry”.

CleanFutures was initiated through discussions between the partners at two recently launched industry networks: the Adelaide Cleantech Network (led by Australian CleanTech) and the Australian Nano Business Forum. “The launch of CleanFutures is a tangible outcome of industry networking and demonstrates the benefits of meeting new colleagues and sharing interests”, said Dr Kristin Alford.

For further information email us at

February 18, 2009 at 2:17 pm 3 comments

Introducing CleanFutures

CleanFutures is a joint venture of Australian Cleantech, Bridge8 and NanoVentures Australia based in South Australia.

Our combination of capabilities and connections means we are able to successfully fund and commercialise technologies that enable clean futures.


For more information about us, our technologies and our capabilities, email

January 8, 2009 at 2:01 am Leave a comment


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