In June 2017, Professor Ernesto Julio Calvo won the DSM Bright Minds Challenge for Inquimae. Traditionally, lithium - the lifeblood of battery technology - is available through one source and one source only: extraction from giant salt lakes or ‘flats. It’s a very slow process that wastes millions of gallons of water while releasing sodium chloride and magnesium sulfate waste into the air and soil. Or at least, it was. Ernesto’s revolutionary electrochemical method uses solar power to extract the lithium…but with zero environmental impact.
The Bright Minds Challenge was set up as a powerful call to action to all unsung heroes out there with solutions that can make a significant difference. We’re convinced that the technologies to transition to 100% renewables already exist – and we wanted to share this message with the world and build a movement for renewable energy. As we are nearing the end of the Challenge we took a look back at the impact of the past 7 months.