Energy and Water Savings in Food and Beverage Wastewater Reuse

Reducing Energy and Wastewater Costs for California's Food and Beverage Industry

Porifera, Inc.


San Leandro, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Projects Updates/The Results

Porifera is currently in the planning of installation phase for their initial PFO recycler pilot demonstration. The team finalized their agreement and installation plans with Frito-Lay to arrange the terms of their initial testing of treating wastewater consisting of high starch content. The team, meanwhile, has been performing in house testing of sample wastewater from the facility. The system is currently being fabricated and is scheduled to begin installation and field testing in quarter two of 2021.

The Issue

Affordable water reuse is a pain-point for food and beverage manufacturers, especially in water-stressed areas in the state, like southern and central California. Waste disposal costs and water sourcing expenses are increasing. Manufacturers are looking for solutions that will offset these rising costs of water use and treatment through energy efficient and reuse practices.

Project Innovation

The goal of this agreement is to develop new capabilities with the Porifera Forward Osmosis (PFO) Recycler so that it can treat high-starch wastewater from food and beverage manufacturing facilities and turn it into clean water for onsite reuse. If successful, this project will open up new market opportunities for the PFO Recycler and provide California's food and beverage manufacturers with a new energy efficient solution to rising water prices and wastewater disposal costs.

Project Goals

Create a prototype PFO Recycler system designed for starchy wastewater treatment.
Test the system in a small scale environment.
"Demonstrate reduction of the energy, chemicals, and maintenance required for reuse of industrial starchy wastewaters".

Project Benefits

California recognizes the relationship between water use and energy use. California food and beverage processors are large energy and consumers. This project has the potential to produce an energy efficient method for treating water at the source of its production.

Lower Costs

Lower Costs

This technology would provide benefits to the site operator by decreasing costs for water consumption and electricity for pumping, by as much as 40 percent compared to the current leading technology. Additionally, by using on-si

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental & Public Health

This project will reduce water consumption and imbedded energy use from pumping and wastewater treatment, resulting in more availability of water and reduced carbon emissions.

Key Project Members

Olgica Bakajin, PhD

Olgica Bakajin, PhD

Erik Desormeaux, PE

Erik Desormeaux, PE

Director of Process Engineering


CDM Smith, Inc.

CDM Smith, Inc.




James Coyle


Contact the Team