SUMMARY: AquaFresco is reinventing the $50B cleaning market, including laundry, carwash and industrial cleaning. We developed a novel water recycle system, cutting 95% of water and detergent use. With this technology, our customers can use just one batch of soapy water to do cleaning such as laundry for 6 months.
PROBLEM SPACE: Water shortage has become one of the most pressing issues of our generation. However, the current water utilization technology is still highly inefficient, especially in cleaning. Using laundry as an example, it is one of the oldest and most common human activities which has not been changed for decades. However, it is extremely inefficient – the total waste removed from clothes only accounts for less than 0.1 wt% of the laundry wastewater. In other words, we are using 20 gallons of water to remove just one tablespoon of dirty components. This highly wasteful process accounts for 20% of indoor water consumption and causes massive economic pain points for hotels and commercial laundries. An average 400-room hotel would spend more than $10K on water and detergent use in laundry every month. Meanwhile, millions of gallons of detergent are discharged into the freshwater system, polluting the environment. Such wasteful water-utilization process is not sustainable and is worsening the current situation of critical water shortages, evidenced as California enters its fifth year of drought, Ethiopia faces the worst drought in decades and United Nations predicts a 40% global water shortage in 2030. Now is the prime time for action.
SOLUTION: “To combat the inefficiency of the centuries-old cleaning processes, we developed an innovative closed-loop cleaning system, where instead of discharging all the laundry wastewater into the drain, the water and detergent can be reused in subsequent laundry cycles by filtering out the dirty compounds of the wastewater. This is made possible by AquaFresco’s breakthrough filtration technology – selective absorption filtration. This MIT-developed, proprietary filter media can selectively absorb the dirty components from cleaning wastewater and regenerate the used water and detergent. The cleaned soapy water is then sanitized, stored and reused in subsequent cleaning cycles. We target laundry as our initial focus due to its large water footprint. The AquaFresco system operates in parallel to existing laundry machines and can be integrated seamlessly into current laundry operations.
Based on our lab and pilot hotel testing results, we found that the AquaFresco system can reduce the water and detergent use in laundry by 95%. Our customers can essentially use one batch of water and detergent to do laundry up to 6 months. This exciting result attracted many hotels and commercial laundries to sign up as early testers and potential buyers. In addition, most of the major home appliance manufacturers in the US and abroad have reached out to us in order to establish joint partnership. Also, the potential of building an almost “”water-less”” laundry machine is especially valuable in underdeveloped regions. NGOs such as Libromat are collaborating with us to introduce the technology to households that have limited freshwater access. The AquaFresco solution can truly revolutionize the current cleaning processes.”
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