AquaFresco, recycling water from washing machines

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An American startup designed a filter that allows the reuse of up to 95% of washing machine waste water.

In a global context in which water scarcity is an increasingly pressing problem, it is fundamental to create innovations that increase the efficiency of water use cycles. One of the most recent developments in this field was brought about by AquaFresco, a startup that aims at solving the problem of water consumption of washing machines. The company developed a technology that allows to reuse up to 95% of the waste water of a standard washing machine.

Washing machines are usually not very efficient. They use great amounts of water, detergents and energy to remove relatively little dirt. Moreover, even more water is required to transport washing machine waste through the sewage system.

This is why three MIT graduates decided to found AquaFresco, developing a technology that could revolutionise the sector without imposing any infrastructure or behaviour changes.

The new system is currently waiting to be patented and consists of a filter that selects and removes oily components from washing machine waste water, while keeping the detergents. This filter can be applied to all standard washing machines currently available on the market. A pilot study demonstrated that this filter allows a reduction of water and detergent consumption of up to 95%.

According to the study, washing machines use about 75 L of water and a considerable amount of detergents to remove one spoonful of oil, with a cleaning efficiency of less than 1%. Such a process is highly inefficient: on average, a medium-large hotel is forced to spend about 10 thousand dollars’ worth of water and detergents every week.

If applied on a large scale, this technology could have a particularly positive impact on the washing machines used in hospitals, hotels, barracks, and schools.

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