A new competition has been launched to find new applications for the waste originated in soda lime production.
The online competition, organized by CIECH Group and Ennomotive, is open to Academia, scientists and engineers from all over the world and offers a twenty thousand Euro prize to any Engineer who can find new applications (excluding agriculture) for post-soda lime or add value by improving its properties.
The competition addresses a major issue with Solvay soda production. Despite the processes high efficiency and effectiveness, Solvay soda production is burdened with large amounts of waste and by-products, which account for approximately 40 % of the soda ash production volume.
Solvay soda production many uses, and is a key part of in modern glass making. Soda ash is also a key chemical for producing soap, paper making, baking soda production, and bleaching fabrics and paper.
Currently, after washing facilities are left with distillation sludges which they are then compact using filter presses. The use for this has been limited but is used in agriculture as a calcium fertilizer.
However, in future, it is believed that the Solvay process could be used for carbon sequestration. One idea is to react carbon dioxide, produced perhaps by the combustion of coal, to form solid carbonates (such as sodium bicarbonate) that could be permanently stored, thus avoiding carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere. This could produce a lot more waste, meaning a better solution for byproducts from the process is needed.
The competition will judge solutions on their technical feasibility; the highest volume of material used; proposed business case; and lowest hazard of the product generated or solution provided.
You can find out more about the challenge at ennomotive.com