This week, the 20 best inventions in the James Dyson Award 2022, a global engineering competition, are presented. The global finalists, young engineering students from all over the world, are selected by 15 Dyson engineers and this year’s finalists include two Swedish inventions that were selected from among 87 entries from 29 nations. These are Low Temperature Evaporation and Banoo. The Swedish contributions go on to compete in the international competition where the winner is chosen by Sir James Dyson.
According to the latest reporting from 2020, 3.2 million tons of hazardous waste were generated in Sweden, an increase of 270 percent from the previous measurement four years earlier. The largest amount of hazardous waste comes from industries and operations within, among other things, the construction sector, waste management and chemical production1. A large amount of the hazardous waste is liquid, and in many cases consists of approx. 95% water. For example, oily water from oil separators is reported second highest on the list of hazardous waste that generates the most kilos of hazardous waste per year from Swedish operations.
Therefore was developed Low Temperature Evaporation
The young engineers behind the invention, Erik Rosengren and Johanna Gillberg, both have a background in chemistry – Erik with a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Lund University of Technology, and Johanna with a degree in analytical chemistry from Örebro University. They both have a great interest in entrepreneurship and sustainable development and have a desire to reduce energy use in industry through technological innovation in order to contribute to a better climate.
The inspiration for Low Temperature Evaporation is based on the creators’ experience of experiencing water shortages in Sweden and the idea of finding a solution for cost-effective water purification technology was born. The original idea was to purify seawater, but then developed to treat water contaminated with heavy metals, PFAS and oil residues from factories and large industries. The development of the technology led to good results.
Low Temperature Evaporation is a new evaporation technology that treats liquid hazardous waste from industries with excess heat down to 40°C, which means that energy that would otherwise be lost can now be used. The waste usually consists of 95-99% water and the new technology separates a majority of the water from the waste and reduces its volume by 98%.
The method works by separating liquid waste from the water through evaporation and 3-8% of the water in the liquid waste immediately turns into water vapor. That steam is condensed and the condensed water is then reused in the factories. The waste that is not vaporized is reheated with industrial surplus heat and then recirculated in a machine to increase the waste concentration. When a sufficient level of concentration is reached, the liquid waste is continuously released via a small side flow to a buffer tank waiting to be sent for destruction.
– In 2020, our first industrial pilot plant with the capacity to purify 50,000 liters of seawater per day was put into operation and now in 2022 we have constructed both our first successful prototypes for lye and liquid hazardous waste, so right now we are in the stage of introducing our technology to the market. During the month of September, we will put into operation our first commercial unit to treat liquid hazardous waste in Halmstad on an industrial level, 10,000,000 liters per year of environmentally hazardous liquid must be cleaned. We also have requests from several different customers around Sweden who ordered smaller test facilities to evaluate the technology before they can order large-scale units, says the team.
The team behind Low Temperature Evaporation
Low Temperature Evaporation was developed in collaboration with Helios Innovations. The students behind the technology are Erik Rosengren (23) and Johanna Gillberg (24), who studied civil engineering in chemical engineering at Lund University of Technology and analytical chemistry at Örebro University, respectively.
Another Swedish innovation: BANOO
BANOO is a developed technology for aquaculture that helps small-scale fish farmers to oxygenate the water and improve water quality in order to increase their profitability, promote sustainable aquaculture and troubleshoot water quality.
The innovation BANOO was created by Fajar Kalena, who recently graduated in Integrated Product Design at KTH. He was inspired by small-scale fish farmers in his native Indonesia and after in-depth interviews with fish farmers identified a crucial problem in fish farming: a deterioration of water quality in aquaculture caused by fish feed, which in turn leads to eutrophication. The result is an increased amount of ammonia and oxygen depletion in the fishpond, which increases the risk of fish mortality and contributes to inefficient aquaculture and lost income.
Like a fish aquarium in our homes, BANOO works the same way, stuck in a fish pond. Innovation adds oxygen with the help of microbubbles that, with an automatic sensor, turn on the microbubbles when the water quality becomes degraded – and turns off when the quality is high enough. The sensor also collects data showing the dam’s condition real-time conditions as well as important water parameters that can be monitored by fish farmers via mobile apps.
BANOO is designed as a full-scale prototype where minor improvements are expected to be made. The next step is to start introducing the product to many fish farmers in Indonesia and also a wider market in Southeast Asia through the hardware as a service (HaaS) business model.
– The goal is to make a bigger impact and help more small-scale fish farmers to more profitable and sustainable fishing, as well as to transform fish farming in Southeast Asia into a more sustainable aquaculture, says Fajar Kalena, the founder behind BANOO.
The team behind BANOO
BANOO was developed by student Fajar Kalena, who studied Integrated Product Design at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
The Swedish inventions have been listed among the 20 global entries that go on to compete in the international competition of the James Dyson Award, for a chance to win the international award. In the international competition, it is also possible to win the competition’s sustainability prize, which through material selection, design process, manufacturing method or invention has a distinctive focus on sustainability.
About the James Dyson Award
The competition is open to student engineers with the ability and ambition to solve the problems of the future. The winning inventions are selected by Sir James Dyson who bases the selection on ingenuity, development and commercial capacity. With students from 29 different countries, the competition addresses a wider range of global issues than ever before.
Since the competition started over 15 years ago, the James Dyson Award has contributed over £1 million to promote young, innovative inventors. To help finalists develop their ideas, the international winner is awarded SEK 360,000 and each country’s national winner is awarded SEK 60,400. The winner of the sustainability award is also awarded SEK 360,000. Unique to the competition is that the winners have full control over the prize money.
The James Dyson Award works to recognize young innovators and empower future engineers by encouraging them to apply their theoretical knowledge and discover new ways of change through technology and design.
What do you win?
- The international winner receives SEK 360,000.
- The winner of the sustainability award receives SEK 360,000.
- The two international second prize winners win SEK 60,000 each.
- All national winners receive SEK 60,400.
Timeline for the 2022 competition
- Competition opens: 16 March
- competition closes for entries: July 6
- National winners announced: September 7
- Top 20 announced: October 12
- International winner and sustainability award winner announced: 16 November
The process and next steps
All top 20 finalists go on to the international part of the competition. From these, Sir James Dyson selects one international winner and two runners-up. He also appoints the winner of the sustainability award who, through choice of material, design process, manufacturing method or invention, has a distinctive focus on sustainability.
29 countries and regions from around the world participate in the James Dyson Award. These are: Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Canada, China, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Germany, USA and Austria.
Participants must be, or have been enrolled in, at least one semester of a bachelor’s or master’s program in the past four years at a higher education institution in a country or region selected to participate in the James Dyson Award.