An inexpensive hydrogel that can extract uranium from water to provide more fuel for nuclear power plants took home the grand prize from this year’s MADMEC competition on Oct. 10.
A team of MIT materials science and engineering students, named A Salt Solution, won $10,000 for a prototype of a simple, low-cost hydrogel that can be incorporated into water desalination plants or placed directly into bodies of water. Uranium then accumulates on the hydrogel’s surface for extraction.
Two other teams, DUMBLEDORE and Geoworks, tied for second place, splitting the second and third place prizes of $6k and $4k.
A Salt Solution
Team Geoworks (Left) and Team DUMBLEDORE (Right)