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Challenge 22 winners showcasing their awards on stage

Scalable Synthesis of Expanded Polystyrene

Dr Khaled Saoud has designed a sustainable way to produce a more durable, less flammable and lighter insulation material than the commonly-used polystyrene. His creation is one that very few people are aware of, but many might depend upon.

His polystyrene composite, which incorporates nanomaterials such as silica aerogel or nanosheets, can be applied to existing insulation materials, which can then withstand 45 minutes of heat with minimal damage, compared to as little as 50 seconds without the coating. This time could be the difference between life and death.

'For the first time I can translate my ideas from the lab to something that will benefit people in their everyday life.'

With nationwide construction in Qatar ongoing in preparation for the world's biggest sporting event, Dr Saoud's innovation could be applied to countless construction projects, making each and every one safer – and more sustainable.

Dr Khalad Saoud, the inventor of the polystyrene composite
As a prominent scientist in the field of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies, he already had a well-formed concept by the time he heard about Challenge 22. The innovation award has, however, pushed his project forward dramatically: "It's accelerated it completely and enabled me to get the materials I need, the equipment I need and to hire people, because one person cannot do everything. I can now register new patents and publish new scientific papers."

Dr Saoud hopes to perfect his product and see it used throughout the Middle East, not least of all at the world's biggest football tournament.

Read about the winning startups: All Startups | ARVEX | Bonocle | EilaELPALMFaneraMoistcharPalm Engineered Composite | Podeo | SunPave | Synaplexus | Tactile Palm Communicator | ViaVii

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