Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Destroying Forever Chemicals with Aquagga

 Aquagga on a Mission

In downtown Tacoma Washington, in a brightly lit office space located a few city blocks from the  Foss Waterway, I met with the 
award-winning engineering team of a Cleantech Startup called Aquagga. They were busy at work to destroy and remove PFAS from the world’s freshwater supplies in order “to improve health equity and environmental justice.”

PFAS (Per and polyfluroalkyl substances) colloquially known as “forever chemicals” are a group of man-made substances polluting our soil, air, and water. According to the EPA, exposure to PFAS has been linked to health problems such as…

  • Decreased Fertility
  • Developmental delay in children
  • Increased risk of cancer.
  • Reduced immune response.
  • Interference with Hormone Response
  • Increased Cholesterol levels and/or risk of Obesity

Aquagga's Map of PFAS Sources (PFAS Explained (

Despite their carcinogenic, developmental, pre-natal, and fertility-related harms, PFAS are present everywhere due to their use in chemical fire extinguishers, use in manufacturing, as well as in everyday products like nonstick frying pans and takeout containers (2). PFAS are held together by strong chemical bonds that make it impossible for them to break down naturally, which subsequently calls for a need to break down the chemicals through artificial means, or else these toxic chemicals will continue to accumulate in larger and larger quantities in our food, water, and our natural ecosystems.

Destroying PFAS

The challenge when it comes to removing PFAS in the environment (3), is that the Carbon Fluorine bonds in PFAS are extremely difficult to break, requiring processes that can often be energy-intensive, time-consuming, and or unable to completely break down the PFAS molecules (3). The engineering team at Aquagga seeks to destroy PFAS using a process called Hydrothermal Alkaline Treatment or HALT to destroy PFAS (3).

In the HALT process, the PFAS-contaminated wastewater is brought to high temperature, high-pressure, and high PH conditions which break down the PFAS molecules into smaller and smaller chains until they become “inert fluoride salts.”(4) According to Aquagga, they choose HALT as the method of breaking down PFAS over other processes because of HALT is highly effective, time and energy efficient, can treat wastewater with different levels of salinity, and the only byproducts are water, fluoride salts and carbon dioxide(3).
Aquagga Tech (Solutions (

Aquagga Specs (Solutions (

Aquagga plans to offer three different scale treatment systems ranging for water treatment from the Pilot series which can treat 2-20 gallons per hour, all the way to the Stampede series which can treat water at a rate of 80 to 800 gallons per hour.  So not only have they chosen an effective PFAS-destroying technology, they’re also designing a versatile range of systems around the HALT process to treat wastewater at any scale (3). As of now development has been completed on the Pilot series and is still undergoing for the Steed and Stampede series.

Ways to get Involved!

For anyone who would like to support Aquagga there 2 ways to get involved.

1.       Aquagga is currently fundraising through WeFunder.
Invest at
2.       Find a job at Aquagga

Aquagga is Currently Looking for
o   1 mechanical design engineer -couple years of experience preferred
o   1  hardware test engineer – couple years of experience preferred
o   1 operations manager
o   1 technical business development manager
Click here for more info.


Final Thoughts

Aquagga is developing their technology around the game-changing Hydrothermal Alkaline treatment as a revolutionary solution to PFAS contamination in water. Aquagga's technology has the potential to make a significant impact in cleaning up contaminated water sources and protecting public health. As the company continues to grow and expand, we can expect to see more cutting-edge and innovative solutions from Aquagga.

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