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Chilean entrepreneurs Rafael Concha and Matías Sjögren are looking to alleviate water shortages through an eco-friendly waste treatment solution. BioFiltro, using the patented bioreactor BIDA (BioFiltro Dynamic Aerobic), relies on earthworms and bacteria to treat industrial wastewater in an energy-efficient, low-cost, and 100% organic way. Its aim is to treat wastewater as a resource, not a problem.
After watching his father install a filtration system using earthworms in their home, Matías traced the technology back to its founder, Alex Villagra Fuentes, the creator of the BIDA system. In 2011, the three men partnered to found BioFiltro. Soon after its creation, BioFiltro became the waste management company for Bavaria, a large-scale slaughterhouse in Chile, reducing their filtration costs by 80%. The BIDA system has been instituted by the agricultural industry, which uses the clean water for irrigation, and the byproducts as organic fertilizers and animal feed. It requires 30% less CAPEX and 70% less OPEX than traditional technologies, making it an economic alternative.
BioFiltro is well on its way to making a global impact. It is currently running a major pilot in Fresno, California, and plans to expand nationally and internationally over the following years. Today, BioFiltro’s diverse client list ranges from the agro-industry to municipalities, and even private real estate communities.
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