374Water [OTCMKTS:PWVI] is rapidly scaling its waste treatment technology following its public listing, said Richard Davis, corporate officer and board member.
The Durham, North Carolina-based company’s technology was developed at Duke University in 2012 with USD 6m to USD 7m in grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other groups. It was spun out as a for-profit entity in 2019 and went public on the OTC Bulletin Board when it merged with Power Verde Clean Energy on 27 April. The merged company, expects to eventually trade under the symbol SCWO, which stands for "supercritical water oxidation," according to a press release.
Davis said the company expects to raise more capital after using the IPO proceeds to build the first two machines in a commercial location in Kokomo, Indiana. The company has a “soft” list of 30 potential customers and joint venture partners ,including its manufacturing partner, Merrell Bros. The rest are municipalities and industrial service companies – a list that might include such companies as Evoqua, Veolia, Shamrock Environmental and Xylem, he said.
374Water expects to have commercial revenue in early 2022, Davis said. The company’s business model lends itself to future debt financing because municipalities have low credit risk, he explained. There is also green money available from “ESG-focused renewable circular economy companies,” he said.
The company named itself based on the fact that 374°C is the temperature at which water becomes “supercritical” in scientific terms. In supercritical water oxidation, with no chemicals or exogenous heat, every organic material passing through the water becomes pathogen free. Only pure water and inorganic mineral ash remain. “Supercritical water becomes like a solvent,” Davis said, destroying pathogens. These include so-called forever chemicals, such as PFAS, pharmaceutical chemicals, microplastics, and 1, 4 dioxane.
Merrell Bros will manufacture and service 374Water’s portable modular AirSCWO Nix systems sold in the US and Canada. The oxidation process relies on ambient air.
The machines can process biosolids including plastics, pharmaceutical, chemicals and food waste, grease and oil and fecal sludge from cities. They serve as an alternative to anaerobic digesters found in landfills, he explained. Eventually the machines could be installed in skyscrapers, for example, he said.
But for now, the company will work with municipalities on sewage treatment infrastructure. The machines must run continuously, powered by the waste feedstocks. The captured exothermic heat from the oxidation process is turned into electricity to power the pumps and compressors in the machines, resulting in a closed loop system. Customers can sell the excess power back to the grid, Davis explained.
Davis predicted the company could generate USD 100m in revenue by 2025. “It’s a cheaper, cleaner way to process trash,” he said.
Carlton Fields is the company’s law firm.
The company has a roughly USD 80m market cap.
By Marlene Givant Star