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Centre National en électrochimie et en technologies environnementales (CNETE) Inc.

Centre national en électrochimie et en technologies environnementales – CNETE

The company

Our organisation

Centre national en électrochimie et en technologies environnementales (CNETE) inc. is a non-profit organisation which has been in operation since June 1993. The Centre works in the field of environmental products and services development mainly using filtration/separation technology and training. CNETE, which grew out of the activities of a College Technology Transfer Centre, now offers a full range of outsourcing products and services for private and public clients throughout the world.

Our mission

The technology transfer centre was set up to foster economic and environmental development through the transfer of filtration/separation expertise, while simultaneously making a contribution to the development of professional training.

CNETE relies on a multidisciplinary team of specialised researchers, chemists, and engineers of high calibre, having extensive expertise in the field of membrane separation technologies such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis.

CNETE enjoys partnerships with many organisations including Hydro-Quebec’s Laboratoire des Technologies électrochimiques et des électrotechnologies. Overall, the two organisations have nearly forty researchers and technologists. Thanks to frequent, beneficial exchanges of personnel between the two organisations, Shawinigan, Quebec has become a gathering point for the most qualified researchers in the fields of membrane separation and filtration, electrotechnologies and electrochemistry.

CNETE‘s main projects involve research and development, demonstration, and testing at the pilot and industrial scales using custom design membrane filtration / separation equipment. By doing this, CNETE‘s work has resulted in the recuperation of various by-products bringing added value to many firms as well as providing them with major savings in the areas of raw-material inventory management and the disposal costs of liquid wastes.

Commercial activities


CNETE a non profit organisation, offers a full range of services for the conditioning, treatment and concentration of various liquid types and origins, emphasising the use of tailor made membrane filtration/separation technologies developed by the organisation. All the R & D used for the development of these processes are applicable for tax credits in Canada.

At CNETE we offer:

  • Technical Assistance
  • Research and Development
  • Technology Transfer and Training
  • Personnel Services
  • Project Management

Technical assistance

CNETE‘s technical team of researchers, chemists and engineers can come to grips with your organization’s chemical and environmental problems. Our main objective is to help your organisation to solve its chemical problems, when they occur, efficiently and at the lowest possible cost. Technical assistance often involves finding an ad hoc solution that can be rapidly implemented.

Applied research

CNETE advises and assists industries seeking to develop and implement membrane filtration/separation technologies in their processes with a view on gaining a competitive edge.

These microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis technologies are commercially available. They are based on the principle of pressure gradients, the molecular size of solid/liquid sources and the use of highly selective membranes that perform filtration/separation.

Our team of experts observes and analyses the behaviour and properties of these technologies in our laboratories, in accordance to your specific needs. The next step generally consists to install our mobile testing benches in the plant to confirm our results. Finally, we design an installation utilising a process of a type that will give significant benefits in economic performance and added value to the company manufacturing processes.

Membrane filtration and separation technologies offer:

  • Energy consumption cost reduction
  • Help the overall performance of the processes
  • Better the quality of the production
  • Recovery and recycling of certain products
  • Upgrading of production capabilities
  • Concentration and reduction of waste volumes
  • Compliance to environmental requirements

Essentially CNETE carries out, in whole or in part, research for which you lack the requisite expertise or time, but which is vital to the competitive development of your organisation. Whether it is a matter of recovering products that can be advantageously re-used or treating industrial discharges, CNETE‘s discoveries and applications help to optimise existing processes.

Customised Technology Transfer and Training

CNETE‘s personnel can prepare subject matter for custom designed courses to meet your company’s specific needs. The courses can be given on your own premises.

Courses can serve the following purposes:

  • Training workers to comply with the requirements of WHMIS standards as well as those for the transport of dangerous goods (TDG) and the transport of petroleum products (TPP);
  • Informing technologists about new equipment and analytical methods, ensuring that an application complies with technology transfer.

Personnel Services

If your organisation need extra chemists or analytical chemistry technicians for a certain period, or you have some tasks that you would rather assign to outside staff, CNETE can help by sending its reserve personnel to your plant for a given time to do punctual needed work. Whether you need workers for a specific project, or are having trouble recruiting competent staff, or are missing some of your staff due to vacation, maternity or sick leave, CNETE has a bank of competent candidates who can meet your specific needs. Over 20 of our chemists and technicians are now placed in businesses, at work on various projects. Our company’s rates are very reasonable and highly competitive.

Project management

CNETE experts can guide your organization in the selection of various environmental technologies and/or services. Depending on our clients requirements and goals, CNETE personnel can offer advice and recommendations for the purchase of systems, equipment or services. Feel free to contact us for more information on our project management services.


Thanks to its infrastructure and highly specialised personnel, CNETE can also help pinpoint and gather together scientific and technical information on chemical and environmental applications. As part of an international network for scientific data processing, CNETE can search for, process, synthesize and adapt scientific information for a lay audience, making it more readily accessible to end users having varying types of expertise.

Community Outreach

CNETE is available to take part in all kinds of activities whose goal is to publicise the advantages of preventing environmental contamination, and the benefits to be gained from residue recovery and re-use.

Over the years we have forged alliances with various companies, including a public relations firm that specialises in environmental concerns. Thanks to these alliances, combined with our research team, our organisation is active on a number of media-related and environmental issues. This science of chemistry should help us test, communicate, and build a better world for future generations by stimulating innovation and economic growth.

ISO 14000 – Responsible Care

The product of CNETE‘s strategic alliance with Service d’Intervention sur Mesure (SIM), the SIM/CNETE consortium now offers a highly competent service group to guide businesses through the process of obtaining ISO 14000 or Responsible Care certification (Canadian Chemical Producers Association program).

SIM has been working with businesses since 1973. The SIM/CNETE consortium is currently working with Alcan Smelters and Chemicals Ltd. on ISO 14000 set-up, implementation and certification. The mission of the SIM/CNETE consortium is to pool the expertise of SIM’s management consultants and that of CNETE’s scientific personnel, in order to develop strategies and means to set up an ISO 14000 or Responsible Care environmental management system, and achieve cost effective results. SIM brings valuable experience to this project, having guided more than 125 businesses through the ISO 9000 certification process.


In fields involving the transformation of raw materials, such as mining and metallurgy, we have worked on the concentration and recovery of various chemicals such as acids, as well as the recovery of metals. We work on white-water management, recirculation of process water, and effluent treatment for the pulp and paper industry; the agricultural domain we have been involved in the treatment of liquid hog manure and slaughterhouse effluents, in the food-processing and pharmaceutical industries, we have worked on the isolation of a high value-added proteins filtered and concentrated out of shrimp waste. In the environmental field, we have participated in projects to manage leachates from various sources such as sanitary landfills, contaminated soil confinements sites, and septic sludges, as well as the re-use and treatment of numerous types of industrial effluent. In the area of drinking-water production, we have worked on the removal of iron and manganese, as well as coloration and odours from water. We have developed trained and implemented for the Cirque du Soleil a mobile treatment system capable of producing quality drinking water for its troupe presently touring a number of Asian cities.

From its base in Shawinigan, CNETE has worked with a number of major clients. These world-renowned firms include:

  • Norsk Hydro
  • Lauralco
  • Aqua Biochem
  • ABI
  • Abitibi Consolidated
  • Cirque du Soleil

Additional Information

Value of equipment available for research: $1.2 million.

Three laboratories are devoted to research, covering a total area of 450 square meters, including a unique testing bench that allows for the use of five membrane separation technologies.

Value of equipment available for various chemical analyses: $1 million.

Twenty-two employees, including eight professionals.


Current markets

  • France: Two projects with Centre national de recherche scientifique de Montpellier.
  • Belgium: One project with Université Catholique de Louvain.
  • Brazil: Partnership with Ryerson International on an environmental training project financed by CIDA, now under way.
  • Costa Rica: Partnership to prepare a project in the agri-food sector.
  • Canada

Targeted markets

  • South America
  • United States