Concept for Water Filtration and Desalinization Wins Graphene Challenge
Meghan Brown posted on September 28, 2016 |

How do you think graphene can change the world?

This was the question posed by the Sandvik Coromant Graphene Challenge, an innovation competition that ran from April to May this year, inviting individuals from around the world to submit their ideas for sustainable innovations made from graphene that could revolutionize the modern household.

Nadia Ayad, a materials engineering student at the Military Institute of Engineering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, won the Graphene Challenge with her innovative water filtration and desalinization device. (Image courtesy of Sandvik Coromant.)

Nadia Ayad, a materials engineering student at the Military Institute of Engineering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, won the Graphene Challenge with her innovative water filtration and desalinization device. (Image courtesy of Sandvik Coromant.)

After a month of receiving submissions and several months for reviewing and judging, Sandvik Coromant has announced the winner of the challenge: Nadia Ayad, a bachelor student in materials engineering at the Military Institute of Engineering (Instituto Militar de Engenharia – IME) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ayad submitted the idea of a way to use graphene for a filtration device and system for desalinization that would provide drinkable water to households. Her idea would significantly reduce energy costs and reduce the strain on current water supplies by making it easier and more efficient to recycle water.

As part of her prize, Ayad will be invited to Sandvik Coromant’s headquarters in Sandviken, Sweden to meet with industry professionals and visit the Graphene Centre at Chalmers University.

"I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as the winner of the Graphene Challenge. I am really fascinated with the study and applications of advanced materials, so the opportunity to travel to Sweden to meet with leading researchers is one that I am really looking forward to," said Ayad.

Ayad also shared the inspiration for her idea during a Q&A with the Sandvik Coromant team. “With increasing urbanization, globalization, and the threat of climate change, it is projected that almost half of the world will live in water-stressed areas, so there is a real need for efficient methods of water treatment and desalinization. I thought that the unique nature of graphene and its properties, including its potential as a desalinization membrane and its superior sieving properties, could be part of the solution.”

Her idea was chosen from ten finalists by a panel of judges, including technology and graphene experts from Sandvik Coromant and the Graphene Center. These top ten submissions were evaluated based on their levels of innovation, feasibility and design.

“We are very pleased with the quality of submissions we received from all over the world, so it was not easy to select just one winner,” said David Goulbourne, senior product unit manager at Sandvik Coromant. “We were very impressed by how well-researched Nadia’s submission was and how well she was able to conceptualize her idea.”

Patrik Carlsson, director for the Graphene Centre at Chalmers University, added, “Graphene is a material with high potential for innovation in many areas. The Graphene Challenge and the very interesting and wide ranging set of proposals we reviewed is a manifestation of this potential. It is also clear that graphene has the potential for disruptive technologies and innovations that do not fit within the present business models of existing companies. The Challenge was a good way to think outside of these business models.”

The Graphene Challenge competition is part of Sandvik Coromant’s Looking Ahead series, which focuses on future trends and business challenges in the manufacturing industry. The latest Looking Ahead film focused on “tomorrow’s materials” like graphene. The competition was a way for Sandvik Coromant to inspire the next generation of engineers by encouraging them to explore these new industry trends through their imagination and creativity.

For more information on the Graphene Challenge and future challenges, check out the Sandvik Coromant website.

Recommended For You