Crowdsourcing Competition for Covering Tailings Piles

Great international interest in the K+S Brine Challenge

12-19-2018
The K+S Brine Challenge is already a great success: a total of 44 ideas from 16 countries were submitted by the deadline last Wednesday. Among the contributors were scientists, companies, institutes, students and non-professionals from all over the world.

“The great interest in the Brine Challenge and the high number of submitted ideas exceeded our own expectations. We are very much looking forward to evaluating the submitted concepts and hope that there are workable ideas among them”, says Mark Roberts, Chief Operating Officer of K+S.

In the next phase of the Brine Challenge, a jury of external and internal K+S experts will evaluate the submitted proposals. The external jurors include

Dr. Bernhard Middendorf, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Kassel, as well as Prof. Dr. Gerald Ziegenbalg, an expert in salt chemistry, building materials and geotechnics. Up to three of the best ideas will then be awarded with € 20,000 each, in April 2019.

With the launching of the Brine Challenge on September 20, K+S is looking for new innovative approaches, concepts and impetus in order to significantly reduce the saline wastewater from the tailings piles caused by rain. The company intends to incorporate new approaches into its own processes which have been developed by K+S experts in recent years.

With the new Shaping 2030 corporate strategy, K+S has clearly declared its commitment to sustainability with ambitious objectives, innovation and constructive dialogue with the stakeholders. All of these will ideally be combined in the Brine Challenge.

Editor’s Note


More information about the “Brine Challenge” can be found on NineSigma’s website as well as on the K+S website and on Twitter under @KS_innovates, #BrineChallenge.

About K+S


K+S is a customer-focused, independent minerals company for the Agriculture, Industry, Consumers, and Communities segments and wants to grow the EBITDA to € 3 billion by 2030. Our approximately 15,000 employees enable farmers to provide nutrition for the world, solutions that keep industries going, improve daily life for consumers and provide safety in winter. We continually meet the growing demand for mineral products from production sites in Europe, North and South America as well as a worldwide sales network. We strive for sustainability because we are deeply committed to our responsibilities to people, environment, communities and economy in the regions in which we operate. Learn more about K+S at www.k-plus-s.com.

Your contact for questions about the news

Relevant contacts

Michael Wudonig
K+S Aktiengesellschaft
Michael Wudonig
Spokesman for corporate topics