The following blog post was contributed by Ioannis Markidis, WISE CDT student at the University of Bath.
From the 21st to 24th of June 2017, Ioannis Markidis attended the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Athens, Greece. The Conference brought together scientists & professionals from government departments, industries, Municipalities, private institutions and research & education institutions. Ioannis presented an oral paper on his PhD research entitled “Anaerobic digestion of sewage and domestic wastes. How small can it be?”, with co-authors Dr Marta Coma and Dr Tom Arnot.
The following blog post was contributed by Benedek Plosz, Reader in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Benedek Plosz has just attended the 10th IWA International Conference on Biofilm Reactors 2017 in Dublin, Ireland.
Biofilm processes are key to an increasing number of biochemical usedwater treatment processes. The main objective of this venue, focusing on Biofilm Reactors, is to bring together both practitioners and researchers to exchange new knowledge and to relate more closely practical implementation with basic research. The program was very strong and the organising committees and UCD (University College Dublin) did a great job to ensure the conference met excellent standards. The conference themes comprised Aerobic granular reactor systems, Bio-electrochemical systems, Moving bed biofilm reactors, Membrane aerated biofilm reactors, Nutrient removal, Modeling and control, Microsensing.
Our PhD students held two oral presentations (Torresi et al; Ramin et al.) focusing on modelling the fate of trace organic xenobiotic pollutants and biomarkers in nitrifying as well as aerobic and anaerobic biofilm systems. The studies focused on enhanced biochemical micropollutant removal and on the emerging field of wastewater-based epidemiological engineering.
We are all aware of the breadth of issues that we face as a planet when it comes to securing sustainable water supplies in the future. Global changes in climate, land use and demographics mean that there will be different pressures on water availability and quality and these have the potential to affect human health and the environment. Whilst some challenges are long-standing, such as ensuring adequate sanitation for all, we also face emerging issues, in the form of new pollutants, such as hormones and pharmaceuticals.
Last year in Leipzig, leading scientists from China, Germany, Japan, the UK and the USA met at the 6th Chemical Sciences in Society Symposium (CS3) to discuss how chemistry could contribute to future global water security. The meeting is part of an ongoing series that brings together leading scientists from these nations, with the support of their national chemical societies and national funding bodies to discuss the role of the chemical sciences in different global challenges.
The discussions from the meeting have been captured in the recently launched white paper Chemistry and Water: Challenges and Solutions in Changing World, which highlights the future research directions, collaborations and policies that are needed to ensure global water needs can be met in the future. The discussion at the meeting encompassed wide range of issues, including the link between water, the environment and human health, the need for ever-evolving detection methods, improved water treatment techniques and the opportunities presented for recovering valuable materials from water.
A number of themes emerged from discussions across all areas, such as the need for chemists to work alongside other disciplines, such as engineering, ecology and epidemiology and the importance of continual international knowledge exchange and collaboration. The white paper also makes more detailed recommendations for research directions in the different themes of environment and health, detection, treatment and recovery of materials and includes case studies on how water challenges are being tackled in each nation.
This April sees the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath.
Title: Reactor development for water treatment: From macro to micro scale using bacterial cells, photocatalysis and enzymes
Speaker: Dr Emma Emanuelsson
When: Thursday 28th April 2016 at 1.15pm
Where: Room 4.10, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)
Abstract: Many industries generate wastewaters that are not suitable for conventional biological wastewater treatment. This could be due to the presence of ‘hard to degrade’ compounds such as pesticides, chlorinated and volatile organic compounds or high concentration of detergents or fats. Other contaminants, such as salts, acids, alkali and metals, may also be toxic to the microorganisms and thus jeopardise the treatment. These wastewaters must therefore be treated before they can be sent to a wastewater treatment plant. The interesting challenge is that there is no ‘standardised approach’, instead a variety of strategies are required to deal with these various contaminants.
Dr Tom Arnot, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Ian Law, Technical Manager at GENeco, Wessex Water, give an overview of the collaborative work being done in the area of advanced anaerobic digestion in the latest issue of Water Active. This project is part of a three year collaboration with Wessex Water jointly funded by the company and the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account.
Water Active is the UK's leading water industry monthly magazine and has the highest number of readers in the water industry. This article continues the monthly series of features by researchers in the Water Innovation and Research Centre at the University of Bath (WIRC @ Bath).
Read the full article written by Dr Tom Arnot and Ian Law on page 10/11 in the August issue.
We can announce today that our researchers are part of a ground breaking GW4 research project that aims to clean up water from a Cornish tin mine, using algae to harvest the precious heavy metals and produce biofuel at the same time.
GW4 is the South West Research Alliance that brings together the South West and Wales’ four leading, research-intensive universities: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.
Researchers from all four universities, in collaboration with Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) are now working with the Coal Authority and Veolia to take untreated mine water samples from Wheal Jane tin mine in Cornwall into the laboratory and grow algae in them. The research will explore whether algae is effective in removing materials such as arsenic and cadmium from the mine water.
Researchers will then look to convert the algae into a solid from which it’s expected that precious heavy metals can be extracted and recycled for use in the electronics industry. The remaining solid waste will then be used to make biofuels.
You can read more about this project here: http://www.bath.ac.uk/research/news/2014/12/05/mine-water-clean-up/
Today the University has announced the results of a new research paper by Dr Darrell Patterson that find you can use waste seashells to clean waste water.
The thousands of tonnes of waste seashells created by the edible seafood sector could now be put to use by our Department of Chemical Engineering in a new waste water cleaning project.
In the research, waste mussel shells were used to create a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way of ‘polishing’ waste water. This knowledge could now be used to remove unwanted substances like hormones, pharmaceuticals or fertilisers from the water system.
You can read the full University of Bath news item on this research here, or access the research paper here.