Mr. Martin Stahl, TRSDC (far right) presented the award to the winners of the Brains for Brine Challenge at Aquatech 2019. (Image: TRSDC)
Mr. Martin Stahl, TRSDC (far right) presented the award to the winners of the Brains for Brine Challenge at Aquatech 2019. (Image: TRSDC)

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) recently announced three winners of their international Brains for Brine Challenge.

Launched in April 2019, 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 winning entry was 'Molding the Future with Salt' by Sebastian Castano, Shihan Lou, Indah Puspita and Nouran Bahgat from the Wetsus Academy in the Netherlands, who 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 Almahfoodhb and Professor Noreddine Ghaffour from KAUST, who proposed transporting brine from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea and  'Valorisation of brine using pellet-softening as pre-treatment' by Maria Nava Ocampo from KAUST, who advocated breaking down brine into its constituent components for reuse in other industries.        

Over 125 ideas were submitted and five nominees were selected to present their ideas at Aquatech 2019. A panel of industry and subject specialists then announced the three winning submissions, each receiving a US$10,000 prize.