The Seeker produces potash (KCl) and table salt (NaCl) from an underground mine in the Northeast of Spain. During the NaCl purification process a significant amount of magnesium- and calcium-rich by-product is produced for which there is currently no outlet for its use. The Seeker is soliciting ideas for applications of these side streams, preferably without requiring further processing but they are also open to ideas on how to cost-effectively improve the quality or purity to enable other applications.
The raw mineral the Seeker uses to produce potash (KCl) also contains recoverable amounts of table salt (NaCl) that is separated along with other salts from the potash by means of a floatation process. The NaCl-rich stream is further processed and purified in a Salt Crystallization Plant (SCP) where the impurities are removed through precipitation. These by-products are high in magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2), calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and calcium sulfate (CaSO4) as well as various chlorides. Currently there is no application for the by-products and the material is added to the ‘salt mountain’ at the processing site. The Seeker is looking for new, innovative ideas for what can be done with these by-products to capture value from them and/or avoid adding them to the salt mountain. Ideally, solutions will not require further processing of the materials before use, but the Seeker is also interested in ideas for cost-effective ways to improve the quality of the by-products if it enables other application areas.
Awards:- There is a guaranteed award. The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $2,500.