Carolina Guerra

Laureate 2011

Carolina Guerra

Ingerecuperar engineers eco-friendly solutions to turn hazardous wastes such as aluminium dross into useful products and raw materials.

As its name suggests – ‘inge’ for engineering, ‘recuperar’ for recovery – Ingerecuperar engineers solutions to recover waste. But not just any kind of waste, specifically the hazardous type. ‘First we research the best way to tackle the waste in question, then we apply the process to re-use it, on an industrial scale,’ says Carolina Guerra, a young materials engineer and Managing Director of the company, which she set up in 2007.

The idea for the business came from Carolina’s former job in a firm that generated aluminium dross, a common hazardous waste produced after aluminium is melted. ‘Despite our attempts to find a way to dispose of it all in an environmentally friendly manner, nobody in Colombia could provide one! Other firms have come up with solutions to recycle the metallic parts of the waste, but not the rest.’ Carolina decided to join forces with two colleagues to research how to make use of the dross in its entirety. ‘The results were excellent! Given how much aluminium dross is generated in our region, we saw a good opportunity for a useful business.’