Chile’s Biofiltro aims to revolutionize water treatment

The homegrown start-up company wins a prestigious international award at the 2011 Global Cleantech Open Ideas competition in Silicon Valley, November 16.


The puzzle of how to treat human waste water is only getting trickier in the context of diminishing freshwater sources and expanding human populations.

“Traditional solutions,” according to Chilean company Biofiltro, “use a large amount of energy, chemicals and generate sludge, three aspects that must be reduced today to ensure sustainability in the future,”

The award-winning technology developed by Biofiltro, however, is being hailed as the biggest step yet towards a fully sustainable solution.

The Chilean technology filters contaminated water with microorganisms and earthworms to create organic fertilizer, which can be used in agriculture and soil recovery. The technology is both low cost and environmentally friendly. Learn more here.

The method attracted positive reviews and enthusiasm from public planners in Chile and throughout the world, and Biofiltro now has 80 plants in Chile, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and New Zealand.

In the Cleantech Open earlier this month in Silicon Valley, Biofiltro tested its mettle among competing teams from around the world, before an audience of hundreds of clean technology engineers, entrepreneurs, experts and venture capitalists.

The annual competition is one of the world’s leading forums for clean technology start-ups, with a stated mission to “find, fund and foster” the most promising companies from around the world.

The Chilean company advanced through a competitive selection process, with more than 1,000 applications submitted from countries around the world and 23 teams invited to the Cleantech Open’s international competition, “Global Ideas.”

Biofiltro ultimately took the grand prize of US$100,000 in start-up services as the 2011 Cleantech Open Global Ideas winner. The other five finalists included teams from Denmark, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.