In Tacoma, Washington, a pioneering startup has introduced a revolutionary solution for addressing the pervasive issue of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in water. Encased within a 10-by-8-foot corrugated shipping container, the innovative “PFAS Destruction Unit” is already playing a crucial role in combatting pollution throughout the state.
In recent times, the increasing awareness of the health hazards associated with PFAS, often referred to as “forever chemicals,” has prompted scientists to intensify their efforts to remove these persistent pollutants from water, soil, and various other environments.
While substantial progress has been made in this endeavor, most existing PFAS removal methods remain largely experimental. Consequently, there is a substantial demand for commercially viable and scalable PFAS removal solutions, a gap that Aquagga has seized as a promising opportunity to make a significant impact.
Aquagga’s PFAS Destruction Unit has garnered substantial support, securing nearly $7 million in funding from crowdfunding, angel investors, government contracts, awards, and demonstration agreements.
The core technology employed by this system relies on hydrothermal alkaline treatment, abbreviated as HALT, which has demonstrated the capability to eliminate up to 99% of PFAS contaminants in water, a fact corroborated by reputable scientific journals such as Chemosphere and Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
The operation of the PFAS Destruction Unit begins with the introduction of contaminated water. This water is heated to an astonishing 570 degrees Fahrenheit and subjected to approximately 25 megapascals of pressure. To create a highly caustic environment, caustic soda, commonly known as lye, is added.
Remarkably, within just 10 minutes of exposure to these rigorous conditions, the molecular bonds constituting PFAS are effectively disintegrated, resulting in the separation of carbon from fluoride. The system captures the carbon in its original form, while the fluoride is expertly combined with calcium or sodium, forming harmless salts that can be easily extracted and repurposed in the creation of products such as toothpaste and dietary supplements.