GeoSilica’s mission is to utilise waste from geothermal production to create a sustainable environment.
The company geoSilica Iceland ehf. was founded by Burkni Pálsson, Fida Abu Libdeh, and Agnir ehf., pursuant to their final theses done as a part of their B.Sc. studies in Energy and Environmental Engineering at Keilir Institute of Technology. In the fall of 2012 they received a grant from Tækniþróunarsjóður (The Icelandic Technology Fund) which will secure financing for the company for the next three years. The company also had the special honor of being among the top ten finalists in Gulleggið 2013, which is the largest entrepreneurship and innovation competition in Iceland.
The main objective of the company is to develop high quality silica healthcare products utilizing wastewater from the geothermal power plants in Iceland which today is largely an unused natural resource. The silica in geothermal fluids can cause severe scaling problems and because of that the fluid is usually re-injected into the geothermal reservoir which is very costly, or pumped out to sea if possible.
“geoSilica has developed a two-step production process. In the first step, the silica concentration in the separated geothermal water is increased many tenfold without changing the chemical composition of the water. In the second step, the geothermal water is gradually replaced by clean ground water from the area while keeping the silica concentration constant. The end product is highly pure silica in the form of extremely small silica particles in clean ground water. Absolutely no chemicals of any kind are used in the production.
geoSilica’s first product was released late 2014, a liquid silica supplement made from 100% natural silica. As of now, geoSilica has already started developing a new product in order to increase its product range.”
Research have increasingly shown that silicon is an extremely necessary trace mineral for the human body. Silicon is necessary for the correct and efficient formation of collagen which is the main component of connective tissue. Furthermore, it seems play a key role in the formation and growth of bones and directs the body where to deposit minerals as well as helps with depositing them. Silicon is also necessary for a good health of skin, teeth, hair, and nails. Also, research has shown that extra doses of silica can be preventive for osteoporosis in women. Finally, silicon can help the body rid itself of accumulated aluminium which can cause symptoms similar to that of Alzheimer disease and dementia.
They are based in the old US navy base in Keflavik. This area has low employment opportunities. GeoSilica would like to create jobs for the local community in Reykjanesbær as well as they make great effort in doing business and shopping for what they need in their community, rather than going elsewhere. They aim to only employee talent, where possible, from the local area.
They have worked in co-operation with Reykjavik University and the University of Iceland where students have been offered to do projects for geoSilica and receive credit instead from their school, this is something that geoSilica considers important; giving the students skills in a work and business environment.
One of the responsibilities that Fida considers to be important is the support of entrepreneurs, and especially women in technology. In her former university that is located near the company, the rate of women dropping out has been increasing and being a former student herself, Fida knows what an important issue this is. Thus, giving these women support is one of geoSilica´s aims as well as to encourage and boost up the women´s association at Reykjanes.