Infinite Cooling: Success Story

A geodesic dome with the InfiniteCooling logo over it.

Changing industry freshwater consumption

Technology to recover and recycle water from industry processes

Infinite Cooling is on a mission to be a global leader in the water services industry for industrial applications. The company has developed a new technology to reduce the water consumption of industrial plants by using electric fields to capture water from the plumes leaving cooling towers. Through this unique recovery process, very pure water that is otherwise lost is recycled back into the plant’s cooling cycle or used for other demineralized water needs, reducing overall use, discharge, and treatment requirements.

This technology comes at an incredibly important time, as studies conducted by the United Nations and US State Department indicate the potential for an extreme freshwater shortage by 2030. The United States’ largest user of freshwater is thermoelectric power plants, which currently account for 39% of all freshwater withdrawals. The company is addressing the growing issue of water scarcity by offering a solution that is both environmentally and economically viable. 

Infinite Cooling: MIT research becomes a prize-winning business

Infinite Cooling was founded in 2017 by Maher Damak and Karim Khalil—PhD graduates from MIT—and MIT Professor Kripa Varanasi. Their research and development focusing on technology that could efficiently capture water from fog using electric fields became the basis of Infinite Cooling. In 2017, they joined 20 other teams in the MIT delta v cohort, a student venture accelerator that provides mentorship and incubation for student entrepreneurs to launch their businesses. Infinite Cooling went on to become the grand prize winner at the MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Challenge the following year. The prize money was put towards growing their team and performing their first pilot installation at MIT’s on-campus cogeneration power plant.

The most notable benefits of Infinite Cooling’s technology are water use reduction, cost savings, and plume abatement. Because the system can be retrofitted to any plant’s cooling tower to catch escaping water vapor, the unique process completely removes the plumes produced by evaporative cooling tower systems. The result is often a 20% reduction in total water consumption and significant annual cost savings in water sourcing and treatment.

“One of the big advantages of working with local suppliers is having someone that does more than just make a part to print. You get a partner that can brainstorm with you and provide expertise regarding design for manufacturing. For an early-stage startup, that is invaluable.”

— Kevin Hsu, Senior Operations Manager

FORGE’s impact: if you can design it here, you can build it here

Through Infinite Cooling’s impactful work, the company has gained recognition throughout the innovation ecosystem – from winning the MIT $100K, MassChallenge Awards, DOE national Cleantech competition, Rice Business Plan Competition, and numerous other accolades. In 2019, Infinite Cooling was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation to further develop their solution, and in 2020, they were awarded a Phase II grant. Infinite Cooling was also awarded a grant from the Department of Energy – National Energy Technology Laboratory. In early 2021, they received an official patent for their technology. 

Infinite Cooling first approached FORGE in 2019, seeking connections to local contract manufacturers. Many tailored connections have since been made by FORGE to locally based manufacturing and supply chain experts, one of which recently resulted in a contract with western Massachusetts supplier Manufacturing Technology Group, Inc (MTG Inc), based in Westfield MA, for custom sheet metal components. Their collaboration fulfills FORGE’s mission of fostering connections between the incredible innovation occurring in Eastern Massachusetts with the rich manufacturing network available in the West.

Infinite Cooling has continued to utilize FORGE’s many resources, activities, and events. In late 2020, they participated in a Rocket Roundtable for Western MA Supply Chain Solutions. These Roundtables are hosted by FORGE with new topics each month, and allow startups to pitch their product and receive live advice from a curated panel of manufacturers and supply chain experts.

Later this year, they will begin new installations with major industrial players. This is a major milestone in the progression of Infinite Cooling’s technology, which has the potential to have a profound impact on the global water crisis. FORGE is proud to support innovative companies like Infinite Cooling to help further their mission and make an impact.