H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the 2007 Stockholm Junior Water Prize to (from left) Carlos Hernández Mejía, Dalia Graciela Díaz Gómez and Adriana Alcántara Ruiz of Mexico.
The 2007 Stockholm Junior Water Prize was presented last night during the World Water Week events in Stockholm to three Mexican high-school students for their project entitled "The Elimination of Pb(II) From Water Via BIO-Adsorption Using Eggshell". The Nominating Committee chose this team as the winners for their “novel approach to absorb lead in industrial wastewater by utilising eggshells, a locally abundant bio-organic waste material”. Wow, how did they come up with that idea?
According to the press release they mixed ground-up eggshells in a liquid lead solution and successfully removed more than 90% of lead pollutants from liquid waste. “This low-cost, time-efficient method provides an alternative solution for removing heavy metals, a pollutant and health hazard around the world, from water. The quick and effective process can be applied in both small-scale industries [and] large industrial operations.”
The Chinese runners up also received honourable mention for their project entitled "The Biochemical Detoxification of Heavy Metals and its Application to the Water-Soil Environment in the Agricultural Wetlands of the Pearl River Delta, China".
Maybe we should be encouraging more of these high-school and college level competitions – who knows what they might come up with next!