popup close


The Mission

We envision a world where water scarcity exists only in the past.

The challenge

Despite the majority of Earth’s surface being covered by water, only 1% of this is accessible fresh water. Fresh water scarcity is an ongoing problem, which is projected to only worsen in the future. As such, by as soon as 2030, global demand for this precious resource is expected to exceed supply by 40%. Seawater desalination unlocks an "infinite" supply of fresh water, and holds the potential to bridge this aforementioned gap. However, current desalination technologies are expensive, energy intensive and environmentally damaging. Aestuarium is developing sustainable and cost-effective alternatives, to ensure an abundant and accessible fresh water supply.

The solution

Our solution is bio-desalination. By harnessing the power of synthetic biology, we will tackle the global challenge of water scarcity in an affordable, sustainable, and scalable way. More specifically, we modify bacteria that can be easily grown en-masse such that they can absorb salt from seawater, on command. Being five times more energy efficient whilst costing half as much - our lab proof of concept has demonstrated a strong competitive edge over the most advanced existing technology. Furthermore, this innovative technology takes what is typically a desalination waste-stream (brine) and transforms it into a value stream, removing this normally harmful side-effect of desalination. We hope to soon see our bacteria have the global positive impact we know they can have.

No videos yet



Team info

>Anirudh Rajesh
Maastricht University
Is this team looking for new team members?



UM postal address
P.O. Box 616
6200 MD Maastricht
The Netherlands

UM visiting address
Minderbroedersberg 4-6
6211 LK Maastricht
The Netherlands
+31 43 388 2222

Social media & contact
Social media

Tel: +31 (0)6 13 98 91 91

The Maastricht University Challenge is organised by
Part of Limburg innovation challenge Logo

in collaboration with

Soapbox Logo
Copyright 2019-2024 - Soapbox B.V.