The Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) brings together top student inventors from across the country to showcase their unique and game-changing inventions. CIC Finalists bring an exceptional level of talent to the event each year, and the 2019 competitors were no different.
The Graduate Winner for this year’s event was Infinite Cooling, led by former Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students, Maher Damak and Karim Khalil.
Infinite Cooling is a system designed to ionize and collect water from the cooling towers of power plants to be reused as industrial and drinking water. As regions fall into drought, freshwater sources are increasingly in demand. With 39% of all freshwater withdrawals in the United States attributed to power plants, implementing this system in plants across the country could save as much as 200 billion gallons of water per year.
Damak and Khalil are co-founders of the Infinite Cooling startup. They’ve both completed their doctorates in mechanical engineering at MIT and did research at MIT’s Varanasi Research Group. They say that Infinite Cooling’s mission is simple: to mitigate water scarcity around the world. Using patent-pending, MIT-developed technology, their system can reduce water consumption in evaporative cooling towers by over 20%.
Infinite Cooling has also found success through numerous competitions and awards, including the MIT $100K, MassChallenge, the MIT Clean Energy Prize, the DOE National Cleantech Competition and as part of the 2018 Forbes “30 Under 30: Energy” group.
Beyond saving water and costs for power plants, Damak says that in regions facing drought and diminishing water resources, Infinite Cooling can “provide clean drinking water from industrial plant exhausts and be an alternative to expensive seawater desalination.”
He also explains how this technology could have a positive impact on the environment.
“Our solution can reduce the impact of droughts in the US and other water-stressed parts of the world by limiting industry’s need for surface and groundwater reserves. This is also particularly crucial for developing countries such as India and China, where stress on surface and groundwater is reaching drastic levels, yet energy demand is still increasing exponentially.”
As the Graduate Winners of 2019 CIC, Damak and Khalil will use their well-deserved prize earnings to further develop their water capture technology. Infinite Cooling’s effort to reduce water consumption and scarcity is on its way to changing our world, one droplet at a time.
To learn more about Damak and Khalil’s invention, check out the video below. You can also find out more information about CIC by visiting our website.