"Forever chemicals", also known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) belong to a large list of over 4.700 chemicals that don't occur naturally, and they are known as "forever chemicals" due to the fact that they don't decompose in nature.

“They're called ‘forever chemicals’ for a reason. They're not easily biodegradable. They're not easy to remove. That's why they were used in the first place", said Karyn Georges, who co-authored a UKWIR paper on PFAS solutions.

Euronews.green writes that the Swiss team of experts are able to remove PFAS from water by unlinking the molecules that make these substances up, making it safe to get rid of the small particles, as well.

Fajer Mushtaq, Oxyle’s co-founder, said that “let's say you have a carbon hydrogen bond. We break it. You have a carbon fluorine bond, you break it. At the end of the treatment, all you're left with is CO2, water molecules, some fluorides, sulphates and minerals - basically, building blocks."

While the chemistry isn't new and other companies already use it, what makes it special for Oxyle is the technology. Other companies use electricity or UV light to decompose the links that keep PFAS together, but the Swiss startup uses vibrations to create bubbles in the water, which achieves the same result.

And the reactors that are able to generate the bubbles are modular, meaning they can be adapted to the specific needs or available space of a certain company.

“Our technology is quite modular,” she explains. “Each reactor can treat about 10 meter cubes an hour, which is 10,000 liters an hour.”

By using Oxyle's technology, energy usage is lowered by 15% compared to other solutions available on the market and this can reach 60% savings in some cases.

While these solutions are unfortunately a necessity in this day and age, there are environmental experts who say that pollution must be prevented in the first place, so less water treatment will be needed.

“We're not removing it as fast as the pollution is happening,” says Shubhi Sharma, a researcher at CHEM Trust. “Stopping pollution at source has to be the priority. Remediation technologies can be applied in parallel, but they are a sticking plaster.”