Wave2O - Clean Water From Ocean Waves

Olivier Ceberio
Resolute Marine
Boston, MA USA

More than two billion people suffer from the effects of water scarcity and the vast majority of those live in coastal areas in developing countries and remote communities. Seawater desalination is an excellent potential solution but desalination systems require connection to a reliable electrical grid for their power supply.

Because customers typically lack sufficient grid capacity and cannot afford the capital or time required to build and deploy grid-connected systems, Resolute Marine has devised a unique solution: the world's first wave-driven desalination system (Wave2O™) that can be deployed quickly, operate completely off-grid, and supply large quantities of clean, fresh water at competitive cost.

The solution fills a large gap in the market between utility-scale and micro-scale fresh water production systems. In our sweet spot is only one incumbent technology — diesel-powered desalination systems — that can be partially or wholly displaced by Wave2O in off-grid communities with access to wave energy. Wave2O harnesses the abundant and consistent energy of ocean waves to directly drive the desalination process. Though there is no electricity in the manufacturing process, Wave2O can co-generate electricity to pump the water where needed.

A standard 4,000 m3/day Wave2O plant can supply 40,000 people at cost lower than $1.5/m3 before profit and cost of financing and displace 5.8 MWh/year of energy that otherwise would have been produced by diesel-electric generators (equivalent CO2 emissions reduction of 500 tons/year).

The key technologies that enable Wave2O have been validated in tests that prove Wave2O can be a reliable and cost-effective water production system with utility in multiple places and in multiple uses around the world. Wave2O benefits include low capital investment, rapid deployment, simple operation and maintenance, readily scalable, minimal environmental impact, and low cost/m3 of water produced.

Cape Verde, Africa suffers from severe water scarcity and is dependent upon diesel-electric desalination systems for 85% of its water. The average cost of water there is $4.42/m3 — the highest in Africa and among the highest in the world. Resolute Marine secured a commitment from the local power and water utility to purchase a full-scale Wave2O plant after trials of a pilot plant are successfully completed.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

A New Architecture for Safe Lithium-Ion Batteries

Carl Hu,
Soteria Battery Innovation Group,
Greenville, SC USA

In lithium ion batteries, there is enough electrical energy to create a spark. The only thing preventing that is a thin plastic separator, sometimes less than 10 microns thick. In a new architecture, the metal foil current collectors have been replaced with polymer films coated with just enough metal to enable the battery to work but not enough to create a spark.

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Energy-Efficient “Greenest” Air Conditioner Cools Without Warming the Planet

Kian Jon Ernest Chua,
National University of Singapore,
Singapore

Air conditioners consume huge amounts of energy, cause environmental detriment due to chemical refrigerants, and dissipate heat to the environment. This water-based system cools without increasing humidity, using chemical refrigerants, or producing heat as a byproduct. The hybrid-membrane water-based air conditioner can cool a 100-square-meter room without dissipating heat to the environment.

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Astropharmacy

Arvind Veluvali, Allison Lin, Sophia Zheng, William Brakewood, and Alexandra Rempe,
Brown University;
Cameron Park, Alexander Somero, Teaghan Cowles, and Cale Lester,
Stanford University;
Dominique WuDunn and Mary Elizabeth Adler,
Princeton University;
and Lynn Rothschild, Patrick Brennock, and Tomasz Zajkowski,
NASA Ames Research Center

Astronauts must take medications with them from Earth. Many medications degrade over time and the necessary supply takes up volume on a spacecraft. Astro-pharmacy allows protein drugs to be produced on-demand using genes as templates for cellular or cell-free expression of proteins. The drugs can be stored for years without refrigeration.

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Engineering a Plastic-Eating Enzyme

Gregg Beckham, Bryon Donohoe, Nicholas Rorrer, William Michener, Michael Crowley, Christopher W. Johnson,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL);
John McGeehan, Harry Austin, Mark Allen, Alan Thorne,
University of Portsmouth;
Fiona Kearns, Benjamin Pollard, H. Lee Woodcock,
University of South Florida;
Rodrigo Silveira and Munir Skaf,
University of Campinas;
Ramona Duman, Kamel El Omari, Vitaliy Mykhaylyk, Armin Wagner,
Diamond Light Source;
and Graham Dominick and Lilly Amore,
formerly of NREL

Eight million metric tons of plastic waste, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, enter oceans each year. Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 is a bacterium that can degrade PET using its PETase enzyme. The enzyme also degrades polyethylene furandicarboxylate (PEF), a bio-based substitute for PET plastics. Improving the enzyme further allows it to be used to break down plastics in a fraction of the time.

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