The Red Sea Development Company and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology have announced three winners of their international Brains for Brine Challenge.
Launched in April, the competition challenged academics, scientists, engineers, and the water industry to propose new solutions to manage the sustainable disposal of brine, a waste product of water desalination.
The first-place winning entry was ‘Molding the Future with Salt’ by Sebastian Castano (Colombia), Shihan Lou (China), Indah Puspita (Indonesia) and Nouran Bahgat (Egpyt) from the Wetsus Academy in the Netherlands.
The group proposed a circular solution for brine, using technology to create a new, eco-friendly building material.
Second place winners included ‘Red to Dead – Brine saves the Dead Sea’ by Sarah Almahfoodh (Saudi Arabia) and professor Noreddine Ghaffour from KAUST, who proposed transporting brine from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
“Identifying a commercially viable method to manage brine from water desalination in a more sustainable manner will have enormous implications for Saudi Arabia and for the broader Gulf region,” said John Pagano, chief executive of the Red Sea Development Company.
“The Red Sea Development Company is proud to be working with visionary thinkers who share our commitment to environmental sustainability and to creating new solutions for long-standing challenges.”
Over 125 ideas were submitted from across the globe as part of the challenge.
After a comprehensive selection process, five nominees were selected to present their ideas at the Aquatech 2019 event.
A panel of industry and subject specialists then announced the three winning submissions, each receiving a $10,000 prize.
In addition, the three front-runners are now eligible for additional support through potential piloting of their ideas in partnership with the Red Sea Development Company and other mentoring opportunities.