Let's talk about water

Whetting appetites for Bath's water research

Water sensor work shorlisted for two Global IChem Awards

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Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo in the Department of Chemical Engineering has been shortlisted for two IChemE Global Awards for her work on water sensors. Her entry '3D printed microbial water sensor' has been shortlisted for both the Water Management and Supply Award and the Dhirubhai Ambani Award for Outstanding Chemical Engineering Innovation for Resource-Poor People. The IChemE Global Awards celebrate excellence, innovation and achievement in the chemical, process and biochemical industries. The awards will be presented at the IChemE Global Awards Dinner at The Birmingham Hilton Metropole on Thursday 5th November 2015.

The other entries that have been shortlisted in the same categories are:

Water Management and Supply Award

  • ‘Marine ballast water treatment system’, Coldharbour Marine, UK
  • ‘Googong water recycling plant’, MWH Global; Googong Township Proprietary Ltd; Mirvac; Canberra Investment Corporation, Australia
  • ‘Separating oil from water’, Ohio State University, USA
  • ‘Membrane for heavy metal treatment’, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • ‘Low temperature ZLD evaporator crystallizer’, Saltworks Technologies Inc, Canada
  • ‘Watergy program’, Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Saudi Arabia
  • ‘Shrink-fit sewage treatment in Heritage Dock’, United Utlities; GCA, UK
  • ‘Xeros polymer bead cleaning system’, Xeros Technology Group plc, UK

The Dhirubhai Ambani Award for Outstanding Chemical Engineering Innovation for the Resource-Poor People sponsored by Reliance Industries

  • ‘Conversion of biomass into cellulose ethanol (cooking fuel)’, Green Energy Biofuels (GEB), Nigeria
  • ‘Low cost technology for dialysis membranes’, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India
  • ‘Production of biodiesel from waste cooking oil’, London South Bank University, UK
  • ‘Low-cost sustainable water filter’, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania
  • ‘Multifunctional concentrated solar adsorption for food preservation’, Newcastle University, UK

More information can be found via the official news release in the IChemE Media Centre.


Anaerobic Digestion overview in Water Active

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📥  Waste water collection and treatment, Water Active, Wessex Water

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.


What can we learn by listening to the ocean?

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In a video of less than 100 seconds, Philippe Blondel explains that activities within the world's oceans create a cacophony of sound that can reveal vast amounts of information about the environment in which the noises are generated. Waves, wind and rain at the surface, earthquakes beneath the seafloor, shipping, the movements and communication sounds of marine animals – the sources of noise go on and on. Tracking these sounds can be used to study environmental change, such as the sound created by melting ice in the polar regions. Among other uses, this information can provide an early warning of the mini tsunamis caused by sudden ice collapse.

Watch the video.

Read more about this research.



A review on emerging contaminants in wastewaters and the environment

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📥  Catchment area management, Urban water management, Wessex Water

A paper has been published by Bruce Petrie, Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath and Ruth Barden from Wessex Water in Water Research:

Bruce Petrie, Ruth Barden, Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, A review on emerging contaminants in wastewaters and the environment: Current knowledge, understudied areas and recommendations for future monitoring, Water Research 72 (2015) 3-27.

This review identifies understudied areas of emerging contaminant (EC) research in wastewaters and the environment, and recommends direction for future monitoring.


WISE CDT overview in Water Active

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📥  Water Active, WISE CDT

Dr Tom Arnot, a Co-Director, provides an overview of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Water Informatics: Science and Engineering (WISE) in the latest issue of Water Active. The Centre is a newly funded and innovative research venture between the GW4 alliance universities: University of Bath, University of Bristol, Cardiff University and the University of Exeter. It has been created to meet the growing need for engineers and scientists capable of working at the interface of traditionally separate informatics, science and engineering disciplines, in order to manage the water cycle effectively and sustainably.

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 on page 14 in the June issue.


US coverage of membrane research

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Dr Darrell Patterson and Dr Davide Mattia, from the Department of Chemical Engineering, have received further international coverage of their EPSRC membrane research grant which has been featured in the Global Spotlight section of the US based publication Water Conditioning & Purification International magazine.

Read the article in the Global Spotlight section.

Read the original blog post about this grant.


WIRC @ Bath overview in Water Active

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📥  Water Active, WIRC @ Bath

Professor Jan Hofman, Director of WIRC @ Bath, provides an overview of the Centre and wide range of water research and expertise across the University of Bath in the latest issue of Water Active. Water Active is the UK's leading water industry monthly magazine and has the highest number of readers in the water industry. This article is the first in a monthly series of features by researchers in the Centre.

Read the full article written by Professor Jan Hofman on pages 14 and 15 in the May issue.


WIRC @ Bath is now a member of the Watershare® community


📥  WIRC @ Bath

Watershare® is based on the concept of sharing water knowledge and experience amongst the members of its community. This knowledge is shared by models and methods that are available to the members as user-friendly tools. They have been successfully applied in practice and demonstrated in case studies. Members can also develop their own tools and add them to the suite, with advice and feedback from the other members. This creates a continuous knowledge sharing and improvement process that can lead to a further productive collaboration within the community.

watershare-bannerWIRC @ Bath is now a gold member of the Watershare® community. The community consists of 11 highly reputable water research institutes in The Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Belgium, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and Sweden. The goal is to apply water knowledge through a global network of knowledge institutes and help to find solutions to water problems of local end users.

The Watershare® Suite includes a variety of tools for applications in Water Resources, Water Treatment, Distribution, Water Quality and Health and Sustainability. As a Gold Member WIRC @ Bath has the right to use five tools freely and upload one tool to the suite. We have selected four tools in the area of Distribution: Mains Investment Planning, Network Flow Performance, Optivalves and Water-Use Info.  These tools are supplemental to our current research and address two very important topics for the UK Water industry.

Furthermore we have access to a tool to assess sustainability of cities: City Blueprint. With this tool we can expand our research on sustainable cities.

At the moment we don’t have our own tool yet, but with continuous growth of our water research and the WISE CDT, we are confident that we can deliver a contribution to the Watershare® Suite as well.

In the autumn we will organise a small workshop on Watershare® and showcase the possibilities and benefits of being a member.

For more information please contact Prof Jan Hofman.


Water research inspires composers

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This month sees the premiere of two new pieces, created through collaboration between scientists at the Universities of Bath and Bristol, and composers from the South West. These compositions were brought about by a new project, lab notes, which convenes science and music collaborative partnerships, bringing together research scientists and composers to develop new creative work.


On May 31st, experimental group Set Ensemble will perform the new compositions in the atmospheric surroundings of the old crypt at St George’s in Bristol. James Saunders (Bath Spa University) has been working with chemical engineers Mirella Di Lorenzo and Jon Chouler from University of Bath to explore the processes found in microbial fuel cells, devices that generate electricity from any sort of domestic, industrial or agricultural wastewater through the action of ‘electrical’ bacteria. James’s piece, titled different water environments, models this process of electricity generation through the players’ response to the sonic characteristics of waste audio, balancing their sound production against changes in quality of a shortwave radio signal

Dominic Lash has collaborated with biogeochemist Kate Hendry from University of Bristol to make a piece that engages with palaeoclimate methodology, which uses indirect chemical records to understand the links between past oceans and climate. Dominic's piece explores the idea of indirect interpretation of data by having the musicians attempt to duplicate each other's activity in various ways, “sampling” each other through various “filters”. But any musical “output” might serve as “input” for another player, and so the plot thickens...

The event will include performances of both pieces, prefaced by a short talk by each of the scientists. Doors open at 5.30pm for a 6pm start, tickets are £3 on the door.  The evening is sponsored by the South West Crucible.

More information about the musical collaboration on microbial fuel cells.


Can you write for Water Active?


📥  Water Active

The University’s press team has secured an opportunity for Bath’s water researchers to contribute a monthly article to Water Active.

This is a fantastic opportunity for us to share news of the wide variety of water research across all disciplines currently undertaken here at Bath with a large audience of water sector professionals.

Water Active is available as a print magazine, and as a website. The magazine reaches around 20,000 readers and the website attracts around 24,000 unique hits a month. 42 per cent of readers are from utility companies, 14 per cent are civil engineers, and the remainder are from a mix of scientific and engineering disciplines.

We are looking for contributions from the University’s water researchers on current, ongoing, or recently completed work. Articles should be approximately 1,500 words, and we’re looking for a different author each month so your commitment is minimal.

If you’re interested in writing for Water Active please contact Jan Hofman, Director of WIRC @ Bath, or Sarah Eliot, blog maintainer. Additionally, if you have news you would like see added to this blog please contact Sarah.