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Challenge Enel Challenge: Replacing a Coagulant for Water Treatment
Enel Challenge: Replacing a Coagulant for Water Treatment
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 260
Posted: Jul 18 2016
Challenge ID: 9933875
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

Aluminum sulfate Al2(SO4)3 is used as a coagulant in a water treatment process to obtain clarified water. The clarified water is further directed to demineralization (for feed boilers). While aluminum sulfate is effective in achieving the desired result, its use is associated with unacceptably high aluminum content in wastewater (> 0.04 mg/dm3 soluble aluminum). The Seeker for this Challenge is looking for an effective coagulant/process to cost-effectively treat the water without the negative side effect of high aluminum content in the effluent water. 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


In the last year or so, our reservoir has had an increase in organic load and hence a lowering of the quality of the raw source water. In order to treat the water, the amount of coagulant (Aluminum Sulfate) was increased in order to reach specifications for “color” and “oxidizability”. This leads to an increase in the total and soluble Aluminum content above the specifications. The Seeker is looking for a new coagulant and/or process that can meet the water quality specifications without increasing the aluminum (metals) content above the allowed limits. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on September 15, 2016

Late submissions will not be considered

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.  


Enel Ingegneria e Ricerca S.p.A- Innovation is part of Enel Group. Innovation, within the Global Thermal Generation Business lines has the following responsibilities:

  • To define power generation technologies of interest as well as innovation project portfolio;
  • to manage Innovation projects aimed at improving operational performances of existing power plants 

Innovation develops activities and projects aiming at developing advanced technological solutions for increasing power plants environmental and technical performances, flexibility and reliability and at identifying advanced integrated technological systems for power plants monitoring/diagnostic and safety management.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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