A World Without Waste

374Water

3. Good Health and Well-Being 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 15. Life on Land

Overview

374Water, Inc is a cleantech company located in Durham, North Carolina. Through the use of science and engineering, 374Water recovers resources from societal waste in order to provide the world with clean water and reusable minerals. Their technology, AirSCWO, allows for the creation of a world without waste by means of a circular economy. 374Water believes this technology will help solve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by "pioneering a new era of sustainable waste management and pollution control."


Authors

Graham Thomas

Graham Thomas

Nevaeh Rudder

Nevaeh Rudder

Gregory Blohm

Gregory Blohm

School

St. John's University

St. John's University

Professor

Charles Wankel

Charles Wankel

Innovation

In an interview with Mr. Doug Hatler, the Chief Revenue Officer, was asked about details on their business’s innovation at 374Water. His response included:

“374Water is a US-Based cleantech and social impact company that offers a disruptive technology that addresses imminent environmental pollution challenges. They are pioneering a new era of sustainable waste management and pollution control that supports a circular economy and enables organizations to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. (SDGs)

“SCWO is a critical water oxidation. It is a physical thermal process that uses the unique properties of water above its critical points (374 ℃ and 221 bar). In these conditions, in the presence of oxygen, organics are rapidly converted to clean water, inert gases, recoverable mineral salts, and reusable heat with >99% reduction in solids volume. The process has proven effective at eliminating emerging contaminants such as PFAS and 1,4-Dioxane, drugs, microplastics and pathogens.”

This spoke to what 374Water had in place for innovation towards our world and how we live in it. We asked for further details about their AirSCWO brand that offers SCWO. This is based on an invention by Dr. Marc Deshusses and Kobe Nager at Duke University.

374Water produced a case study on their recent technology for Air Supercritical Water Oxidation. This case study illustrates the process of the lifecycle of how the technology operates. 374Water provides a diagram of what the ASWO technology does and how it is shifting the paradigm of biosolids and waste treatments. The process of eliminating wastewater sludge and closing landfills surround the main reason for this technology. The current sludge processing method cannot eliminate PFAS (Per and-polyfluoroalkyl substances). These biosolids pose a severe PFAS contamination challenge and crucial health treatment to the average human being. This AirSCWO technology is the only stable and recognizable technology today that addresses PFAS contaminated sludge issues.

Furthermore, the landfill closing process is a little bit different compared to the waste water slide elimination. This is usually found to be treated through a complex application treatment solution that usually comprises a multi-step process and elongates the process of treatments. The AirSCWO technology offers a more comprehensive solution eliminating complex organic mixtures, while it delivers performance reliability and future-proofing the treated area.

A World Without Waste

Inspiration

During this interview, Hatler informed us that co-founders, Dr. Deshusses and Nagar, were inspired by the prospect of reducing waste more effectively. Furthermore, he explained that 2.3 billion people are lacking access to proper water sanitation despite the estimated $384 billion used to repair the US water and sanitation infrastructure. In 2030, it is projected that one in two people will face a global water shortage. With this data and projections in mind, Deshusses set out to make a plan on how to improve this system.

In 2013, Dr. Deshusses received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the “Reinvent the Toilet” challenge. Hatler explained his goal was “first demonstrating the reactivity of fecal waste and ensuring the SCWO could convert the waste into clean water and energy.” This opportunity kickstarted the work towards the creation of 374 Water. After receiving the grant, Dr. Deshusses worked with Nagar at Duke University, conducting research and patenting the technology. In 2018, they co-founded 374 Water “for the purpose of commercializing the patented SCWO technology (called “AirSCWO”) and shifting the waste management paradigm from treatment and disposal to elimination and resource recovery. “ says Hatler.

Overall impact

As stated on their website, “We apply cutting-edge science and engineering to recover resources from the wastes our society generates to keep our drinking water clean! We support and help businesses and local governments to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” These goals include good health and wellbeing, clean water and sanitation, industry innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, life below water, and life on land.

For example, Hatler explained that long-lasting chemicals such as PFAS have been detected in drinking water, wastewater sludges, biosolids, and landfill leachates. AirSCWO is impactful because it is a robust process that eliminates these persistent compounds from such waste streams. This innovation helps 374 Water create a circular economy in which pollution is under control and our world is a much cleaner place.

Ultimately, this product aids the work and products people in our society are putting into place to develop a cleaner environment. AirSCWO has proven useful in the short run as stated above and we look forward to the increasing benefits to come in the long run.

Business benefit

374Water’s mission is “to preserve a clean and healthy environment that supports life.” The AirSCWO technology provides 374Water with the ability to achieve this mission through innovative technology and engineering. 374Water is able to provide locations all around the world with compact, modular, energy-efficient, and cost-effective units that allow for proper sanitation of water and waste removal. AirSCWO Nix Systems are both self-sustainable and scalable while being easily deployed and fully contained.

Hatler informed us that 374 Water merged with Power Verde and became a publicly-traded company. The merger accelerated the delivery of AirSCWO Nix Systems. This is impactful because it will enable municipal, industrial waste, and wastewater management organizations to address the growing risk of 'forever chemicals' PFAS contamination, while also recovering precious natural resources.

Social and environmental benefit

A circular economy involves sharing, repairing, reusing, and recycling materials and goods in order to reduce global waste. 374Water’s AirSCWO technology allows for the creation of a circular economy and will ultimately help to create a world without waste. Not only does AirSCWO provide clean water, but it also allows for resource recovery all while creating positive net energy. This innovation will help places all over the globe to become more sustainable, cleaner, and provide clean resources for those areas that lack access to clean water.

Hatler explained the effectiveness of the innovation as, “The effectiveness and relative simplicity of AirSCWO is highlighted by the speed at which the reaction takes place, in about 5-15 seconds. The excess heat produced by the exothermic reaction can be used to generate electricity, and the process produces clean emissions-free of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. In addition, the process produces clean water and minerals which could be recovered and reused.”

Interview

Doug Hatler, Chief Revenue Officer

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374Water

374Water

Durham, US

Business Website: https://www.374water.com/

Year Founded: 2018

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

374Water, Inc is a cleantech company located in Durham, North Carolina. Through the use of science and engineering, 374Water recovers resources from societal waste in order to provide the world with clean water and reusable minerals.