Green solutions win big prizes

Two chemist teams that have developed solutions to remove toxic metals from wastewater and help butterflies improve ecosystems have won awards from the Elsevier Foundation.

The first prize winner of the Elsevier Foundation-ISC3 Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge was Ramia Albakain of the University of Jordan. The second prize went to toxiat Abasaheb Garware College in India.

Albakain developed green membranes that removed toxic metals from medical wastewater, rendering it usable for agriculture in the desert kingdom. She was awarded €50,000 for her solution.

“Receiving this prize will enable me to not only initiate collaborations in Jordan, but to also do that internationally: I’m looking forward to more opportunities do joint capacity building with my team, for the success of the project,” said Albakain in a press release.

Patwardhan, who won €25,000, developed a method of attracting butterflies that play an important role in balancing ecosystems. “This prize gives me the energy and confidence to keep going: to serve the community is a priority, and as first step I’ll reach to the farmers who have supported the development of the project,” he said.

Funded by Elsevier, an international science and health analytics company that publishes academic journals, the Elsevier Foundation contributes more than €1 million to non-profit organizations annually.

“Through projects such as these, which clearly tackle key UN Sustainable Development Goals around life on land and water security, the Challenge is helping build a stronger, green and sustainable chemistry community, and will boost knowledge exchange around the globe. Though it was difficult to make a choice, all of our finalists are truly winners,” said Foundation Director Ylann Schemm.

Image credit: Bruno Soares via Unsplash

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