One of the best performing sectors on the ASX in 2019 was water treatment stocks. But like most other sectors, it has been hit by the market slump, and it seems the lure of the hand sanitiser industry is just too great.

De.Mem (ASX:DEM) revealed to its shareholders today that it had been selling antimicrobial products since early February.

These products, which include hand sanitisers and surface disinfectants, are using the same tech the company has developed for water filtration products. Manufacturing and initial distribution is occurring in Singapore.

De.Mem’s touch applies at the end of the treatment, where the water flows through a membrane and ensures only water molecules pass through. In addition to the tech being more effective, it uses less electricity and is cheaper to operate than conventional systems.


They’re in it for the long haul

While hand sanitisers have been arguably the best money maker in a tough time for business, De.Mem says it’s not just in it for a short-term cash grab.

CEO Andreas Kroell says he wants to continue making the product in the long term. He also revealed the company’s existing supply chains were not affected so far, and the new product could complement De.Mem’s offerings for existing clients.

“Not only are we able to assist our clients with water treatment solutions, which address some of their immediate concerns regarding hygiene standards during the coronavirus outbreak, but we are looking to develop this new product as a long-term offering across multiple segments and customer verticals”, Kroell said.

However, the news failed to stop the downward pull of the market this morning with shares dipping 8.3 per cent to 11c.


READ MORE: When it rains it pours: water treatment stocks surge 260 per cent

In other ASX water tech news:

Fluence (ASX:FLC) expects some revenue may shift to the second half of 2019, but isn’t expecting a material impact. The wastewater treatment company noted that coronavirus was transmittable through contaminated sewage.

On Friday Fluence announced its first sale of its Aspiral wastewater treatment solution in the Inner Mongolia province in China, which followed a major sale in Cambodia earlier this month. The new order was worth over $US7m ($11.4m) and the company’s largest outside of China.

Meanwhile, SciDev (ASX:SDV) said it was not witnessing any supply challenges and that it was well placed to mitigate them should they arise.

Although Phoslock (ASX:PET) had to close its sales office in Beijing and the Changxing factory, both re-opened at the end of February. Chairman Laurence Freedman said “the company’s business is proceeding as planned.”

Purifloh (ASX:PO3) is yet to provide an update, but unlike the rest of the stocks it does not have a focus on China.