This MIT-Born Startup Is Bringing Clean Energy to Clean Clothes

AquaFresco recycles laundry water & detergent for major water and cost savings.

The year is 2017.

The climate is changing.

Droughts keep making the headlines.

Sewer costs are increasing.

And the people need to wash their clothes.

Laundry accounts for more than 20% of indoor water consumption, according to the EPA, and get this: less than 0.1% laundry wastewater is actual waste. That means an excess 99.9% of laundry water (and a whole lot of $) goes down the drain.

What if we could recycle that 99.9%?

Enter 3 MIT PhDs and AquaFresco.

Rough Draft Ventures is excited to announce our support of AquaFresco as they bring to market the first add-on water recycling unit that can be installed directly to existing washers. Founded by MIT Material Science PhDs Sasha Huang, Chris Lai, and Alina Rwei, Aquafresco’s proprietary selective absorption filtration (SAF) technology removes oil, dirt, and other waste to recycle clean water and detergent for major water and cost savings.

While AquaFresco can be installed to any washer, the company is first targeting hotels and commercial laundromats that do thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of loads of laundry each year. In an initial pilot at an 800-room hotel, AquaFresco’s add-on unit reduced water usage by 15%, saving the hotel a whopping $227,000 annually.

We met AquaFresco through a fellow MIT-born RDV robotics team, Spyce, last summer, and they’ve made rapid progress since! The company received a $150K clean energy grant from the Baker-Polito Administration, has several active pilots, and has grown the team from three to seven.

To learn more about AquaFresco, visit their website and stay tuned for updates!


This post was co-authored by Denali Tietjen.