Water purification with IIT Kharagpur

(2016-2017)

This collaboration with researchers at IIT Kharagpur, India, explores arsenic removal from water using a soil-based filter. Arsenic contamination of drinking water is a major public health issue in West Bengal and Bangladesh with the WHO describing the Bangladesh situation as the ‘the largest poisoning of a population in history’. This research seeks to address this by exploring how best use laterite soil to maximize the rate at which clean water can be produced, and maximize the lifetime of the filter. The team use a combination of mathematical modelling, asymptotic analysis, and computational fluid dynamics in Oxford, with experiments conducted on samples and real water by IIT Kharagpur.

Development of a hybrid technology for treating recalcitrant water contaminants

(2013-2015)

This Science & Technology Facilities Council-funded project is developing a hybrid technology to treat water contaminants using electron beams used in the development of particle accelerator technology.

Biofilm induced degradation of endocrine disruptors on the micro scale

(2012-2015)

Endocrine disruptors, including human oestrogens, have been identified amongst a growing list of priority micro-contaminants in water bodies and drinking water supplies. The project focuses on the removal of micro-contaminants (with a particular focus on estrogens) through the use of biofilms. Once the biofilm characteristics (shape and size) have been identified, test compounds will be introduced and data on their degradation will be obtained. A finite element model of the device will be developed in parallel.

Reduction of algal loading onto water treatment works

(2012-2015)

Thames Water have identified peaks in chemical demand associated with algal blooms as a current cause of seasonal increases in the costs of potable water treatment. A goal has been set to minimise the impact of algal blooms and thus reduce treatment costs by installing a combined physical and biological barrier, consisting of a combination of submerged booms and floating reed beds. The project investigates and evaluates how well the installation meets its goals over a three year period via an intensive field- and lab-based protocol.

POC – Jocelyne Hughes