Duke University has been working on Supercritical Water Oxidation since 2013 as part of the "Reinvent the Toilet" initiative from the Gates Foundation. Addressing waste treatment and fecal sludge, the technology developed there has outstanding treatment performances, mineralizing virtually all compounds including emerging contaminants such as micro-plastics, PFAS, drug residues, and breaking them down to carbon dioxide and water. Minerals such as Phosphorus, Potassium, Silica, Calcium, Iron and others can be recovered together with clean water and reused as fertilizers.
For the last four years, the team has been operating a prototype located on campus in a 20” container, conducting tests and experiments for process improvement and optimization.
On the way to commercialization and real life deployment, the PI System was incorporated 1 year ago. It has helped streamline the data treatment process and speed up the R&D effort, bringing closer the sanitation revolution the world needs.