Let's talk about water

Whetting appetites for Bath's water research

Tagged: Chemical Engineering

Water Quality Monitoring and Electricity from Wastewaters with Microbial Fuel Cells

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

This May 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: Water Quality Monitoring and Electricity from Wastewaters with Microbial Fuel Cells

Speaker: Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo

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When: Tuesday 10th May 2016 at 5.15pm

Where: Room 3.7, Building 3 West, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that, by taking advances of metabolic pathways in microorganisms, directly convert the chemical energy of organic compounds into electricity. In recent years, MFCs have raised great attention as sustainable and clean energy-conversion technology capable of utilising a wide range of organic fuels, including wastewater from industrial, agricultural and domestic sources.

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Reactor development for water treatment

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📥  Water Treatment, WIRC @ Bath

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

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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.

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The Photochemistry of Rivers, Lakes and Engineered Low-Energy Treatment Systems

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📥  Other, Water Treatment, WIRC @ Bath

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: The Photochemistry of Rivers, Lakes and Engineered Low-Energy Treatment Systems

Speaker: Dr Jannis Wenk

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When: Tuesday 12th April 2016 at 5.15pm

Where: Room 3.15, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: The importance of photochemical processes on the fate of aquatic contaminants is widely underestimated. This lecture summarizes highlights of my own studies and discusses them in relation to recent important advancements in the field of environmental photochemistry, with emphasis on reaction mechanisms, monitoring and modelling of photochemical processes in water bodies. Systematic use of natural sunlight for improving water quality in constructed open water systems such as wetlands and stormwater reservoirs will be considered. The presentation is especially addressed to an audience that is unfamiliar with this area of research as I will provide an introduction to the photophysical and photochemical processes that generate a wide range of short-lived reactive species in the upper layer of sunlit surface waters. Along the way I will also explain what the colour of water is.

Contact: Please email Shan Bradley-Cong if you need any further information.

 

Heat recovery from sewer systems

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

This March 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: Heat recovery from sewer systems

Speaker: Professor Jan Hofman

Prof Jan Hofman

When: Thursday 17th March 2016 at 1.15pm

Where: Room 4.10, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: Do you ever think about how much energy you are washing away when taking a shower? Or how much heat is lost from your house with the wastewater? In a modern house this can be up to 40 % of the total energy use for room heating and production of hot tap water. Recovering and re-using that heat can significantly increase the energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of a house. In Switzerland, Germany and Scandinavia, systems are in operation that can recover thermal energy from wastewater. Research in The Netherlands and recently at the University of Bath campus gives insight into the availability of thermal energy in the sewer system. The heat availability follows the patterns of water consumption at home. Most of the heat is available during two large peaks every day. The largest is the morning peak. At that time many people take a shower after waking up. The second peak is during the afternoon and evening, when people come back home from work.

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Water in the Circular Economy

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

The following blog post was contributed by Dr Ana Lanham, a Lecturer in Water Science and Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering.


“Water is the natural starting point for the circular economy” said Esther de Lange (MEP) while introducing the panel of speakers for a meeting on water in the context of the recently adopted Circular Economy Package. The meeting took place on the 27th of January 2016 at the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels and Dr Ana Lanham, a lecturer from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath and member of WIRC @ Bath, was able to attend.

The panel, in addition to Ms de Lange, who chairs the EP’s group on water, included four speakers that represented viewpoints from across different sectors relevant to water: Marianne Wenning, Director for 'Quality of Life, Water & Air' in DG Environment, presenting the strategy from the European Commission, Diane d’Arras, VP Water Europe SUEZ Environment, with a view from Water Utilities, Christina Von Westernhagen, Director EU Government Affairs and Public Policy Dow Chemical, representing the industry and Jan Busstra, Water and Marine Director of Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure & Environment, representing the experience of a National Government.

All speakers emphasised the importance of water as a crucial resource for all sectors of society and insisted that while we are already facing problems in terms of water scarcity and quality,  where 11% of the EU territory is water stressed, that this would  likely increase significantly as a result of the accrued impacts of Climate Change. For this reason, the “buzz” for the Circular Economy is very welcome as it sets the tone and lays the necessary framework for the promotion of creating value in closed loops.

However, many speakers and members of the audience also recognised that this package is only a first step in that direction and that there are many challenges that both companies, policy-makers and citizens need to overcome. For instance, the need to balance strategies such as artificial aquifer recharge with the risk of further spread of emerging pollutants, the need to enable resource recovery from wastewater through appropriate legislation without compromising health and safety aspects and finally the need to discuss models for water pricing and costing without compromising access to clean and safe water and without hindering economic growth or industrial activities.

This package addresses some of these issues, such as for instance the revision and unification of legislation on fertilisers, or the incentive to water reuse by recognising the crucial need for standards that define sufficient quality parameters to ensure a safe repurposing of the water. However, more importantly, the overall impression I felt in the room was that it also serves as an encouragement, a leadership vision that enables industries, citizens, governments to talk to each other and aspire to (re)invent value in recycling, repurposing, reducing, recovering, reusing and (re)designing.

 

Water Reclamation in North Africa

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

This December see 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: Water Reclamation in North Africa

Speaker: Dr Tom Arnot

When: Tuesday 15th December at 5.15pm

Where: Room 3.15, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: The Middle East and North African region (MENA) has a population of about 430 million people. In 2014 it received an annual average rainfall of about 75 mm, compared to 1300 mm in the UK. On top of this the region is mainly arid, very arid or hyper-arid and so evaporation due to high temperatures is a significant challenge. Climate change is driving the desert area north, so the relatively fertile and highly populated areas around the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean are also under threat. On top of this the region is politically unstable, with the Arab Spring being a recent sea change, but conflicts in countries like Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel / Palestine are not new…  Prompted by the ISIL attack in Paris, Prince Charles has recently asserted that climate change is the root cause of the instability in the MENA region. Whether you support his suggestion or not, access to water, or the lack of it, is frequently cited as a fundamental contributory factor in these unhappy conflicts.

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Improving water treatment using chemical oxidants

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📥  Water Active, Water Treatment

Dr Jannis Wenk, Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, explains how research at the Water Innovation and Research Centre at the University of Bath (WIRC @ Bath)  is investigating how chemical oxidants can be used to improve water treatment in the October 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 continues the monthly series of features by researchers in WIRC @ Bath .

Read the full article written by Dr Jannis Wenk on pages 10 and 12 in the October issue.

 

Water sensor work shorlisted for two Global IChem Awards

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📥  Other

Awards MAIN logo_EventP+Sponsor

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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📥  Water Active, Water Treatment, 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.

 

US coverage of membrane research

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📥  Other

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.