Chemistry solutions that tap native plants, such as cashew nuts, to tackle mosquito borne diseases through environmentally friendly insecticides, and a focus on eco-remediation of land devastated by crude oil spills in Nigeria win the Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge. The 2017 first prize winner is Dr. Denis Pires de Lima from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil and the second prize winner is Dr. Chioma Blaise Chikere from the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.
The Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge is a collaboration between the Elsevier Foundation and Elsevier's chemistry journals. The five finalists for the 2017 edition pitched their projects during the second Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference in Berlin after being selected from nearly 700 submissions by a jury of experts in the field. Proposals addressed challenges in the developing world, focusing on energy, water, waste reduction, agriculture, medicine and others. The 2017 challenge drew nearly 500 submissions and awarded projects in biodegradable textile dyeing technology and sustainable agriculture.
Dr. Denis Pires de Lima is awarded the first prize of EUR 50,000 for his project, "From cashews to castor oil, combating mosquito-borne diseases." Dr. Pires de Lima and his team are using natural waste from locally sourced cashew nuts and castor oil to produce environmentally friendly insecticides against mosquitoes carrying Zika and Dengue fever, a sustainable alternative to conventional, substantially toxic insecticides.
The second prize worth EUR 25,000 is awarded to Dr. Chioma Blaise Chikere. Her project, "Eco-restoration of crude oil-polluted land in Nigeria" demonstrates how organic nutrients such as garden fertilizers and animal excreta can be used to degrade hydrocarbons, cleaning up soils heavily contaminated by decades of oil spills.
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