Our ambition is to create a truly one of a kind luxury tourism destination that sets new standards in sustainability. It is why, in April 2019, we launched the Brains for Brine Challenge, challenging academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to come up with innovative new solutions to manage the disposal of brine as a waste product of water desalination – a long-standing environmental challenge facing the scientific community.
In November 2019, we were pleased to announce the three winners of the Brains for Brine Challenge at an Aquatech event during Amsterdam International Water, with each winning entry receiving a prize of $10,000 to fund their research.
Molding the Future with Salt
The first-place, overall winning entry was ‘Molding the Future with Salt’ by Sebastian Castano, Shihan Lou, Indah Puspita and Nouran Bahgat who hail from the Wetsus Academy in the Netherlands. Their circular solution seeks to use new technologies to extract useful by-products from excess brine, re-using them to create new eco-friendly building materials that can be used throughout Saudi Arabia and beyond.
Red to Dead
Another winning entry was ‘Red to Dead – Brine Saves the Dead Sea’ by Sarah Almahfoodh and Professor Noreddine Ghaffour from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Their proposal entails transporting brine from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea – an innovative and energy efficient solution designed to protect and enhance both natural habitats.
Valorisation of Brine
Our final winner, ‘Valorisation of Brine using Pelletsoftening as Pretreatment’ was submitted by Maria Nava Ocampo, from KAUST. Her team proposed chemically breaking down brine deposits and allowing its components to be re-used sustainably in other industries. This could see brine components like calcium and magnesium being used in everything from cosmetics to concrete.