International Membrane Science & Technology Conference (IMSTEC) 2020

IMSTEC2020

2-6 February 2020 – Sydney Australia

Abstract Submission Deadline: 15 August 2019

Sydney skyline

The International Membrane Science & Technology Conference (IMSTEC) is Australia’s premier membrane science and technology event connecting membrane researchers, developers, manufacturers and users. IMSTEC2020 will be held from 2-6 February 2020 at the University Technology Sydney, Australia. IMSTEC2020 will bring together delegates from around the world, and cover a range of topics including water and wastewater treatment, gas separation, mining & agriculture applications, membranes for biomedicine, membrane bioreactors, forward osmosis and more.

MembranesKangaroo

For further information, visit the IMSTEC 2020 website at: https://www.imstec2020.com/

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Emerging Investigator Series – Olya Keen

Dr. Olya Keen received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the University of South Florida in 2008, and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2012.  She has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte since 2013.  Her research interests are contaminants of emerging concern, UV-based treatment technologies, especially advanced oxidation, and water reuse.

Read her Emerging Investigator article “Transformation of common antibiotics during water disinfection with chlorine and formation of antibacterially active products” and read more about him in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on Transformation of common antibiotics during water disinfection with chlorine and formation of antibacterially active products. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

My very first article was on biodegradability of the products of carbamazepine (a pharmaceutical) after advanced oxidation.  Essentially, my work continues to focus on the transformation products of pharmaceuticals.  Trace pollutants of emerging concern, and especially pharmaceuticals, sparked my interest when I learned about them as an undergraduate student.  When I decided to get a PhD, my aim was specifically to research this topic.  I haven’t lost my interest in it since.  There is still a lot to learn about the fate of pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in water and wastewater treatment processes, their human and environmental health effects at trace levels, and whether and how to control their concentrations in water resources.  While this paper is very close in the topic to my first paper, I have since studied a number of topics with the ultimate goal to develop a strategy for keeping pharmaceuticals from water resources.  I have investigated the impacts of hospital wastewater on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater collection systems, have researched how the disposal of pharmaceuticals into solid waste from households and hospitals can impact water resources via landfill leachate, and examined the fate of some pharmaceuticals in environmental buffers used in potable water reuse.  I have also been delving into other categories of contaminants of emerging concern (plasticizers, flame retardants, algal toxins, etc.) with some of my ongoing research.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

I am looking forward to continuing my work with the antibiotic transformation products we identified in this most recent publication and in some of the earlier papers.  We plan to study their occurrence in full-scale treatment processes and their role in the development of antibiotic resistance.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

I think one of the most concerning pharmaceutical classes in water resources is antibiotics.  More and more evidence comes out that environmental levels of antibiotics play a role in antibiotic resistance development.  The most urgent question is how to control the release of antimicrobial substances (non-matabolized fraction of antibiotics, antibacterial substances in soaps, etc.) into the environment in a way that is economical to wastewater treatment plants and that doesn’t generate new substances of concern, e.g. antibiotic transformation products.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

The part of my research that involves work with transformation products is challenging for a number of reasons.  Their definitive identification, and determining whether we should be concerned about them, is not an easy process and involves significant analytical research.  Often projects don’t have a sufficient budget or a timeline for research as thorough as I would like it to be.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I am planning to attend IUVA 2020 conference in Orlando and the next AEESP conference in 2021.  I also periodically attend national ACS meetings.

How do you spend your spare time?

I have a toddler, so I only daydream about spare time.  I do enjoy spending time with my family.  If I had a bit more spare time, I would use it to travel the world, read, and pursue painting.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I have a bit of an idealistic view of sustainable and organic farm living, and I sometime picture myself doing that.  This is what my ancestors did for generations.  My parents farmed in addition to their jobs when I was growing up, and now they are doing it full time in retirement.  It amazes me, how little waste they generate by living the way they do and the kind of life skills they have.  I hope to eventually teach my kid the knowledge of the traditional ways to make our own food and to live a truly low-impact and sustainable existence.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Have one day a week for which you do not schedule any classes or meetings.  It can be difficult to maintain focus on a paper or a proposal when the whole day is fractionated by various short-duration items.  Creative thinking on a topic takes getting immersed into it for hours, chasing a thought and then the next thought that it leads to, and so on.  Try to schedule most of the meetings on a single day.  That day will be draining, but if split into several days, it will result in several draining days with seemingly nothing accomplished.  Wise time management is a must, as the to-do list is never cleared, and it is easy to get overwhelmed and to feel like there is never any time to get things done no matter how long the hours.

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Green Technologies for Sustainable Water (GTSW) 2019

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Sai Gon, is the biggest city in the south of Vietnam. It was built on Sai Gon River and considered as the Pearl of the Orient during French colonial time. This city, with its essential French colonial character, has enough to draw your attention. The presence of colonial villas, wide avenues, and a lively café society will remind you of the days of French dominance. Over the past 10 years, Ho Chi Minh City has experienced a spectacular change in its cityscape. The once low-rise landscape of the city’s central area, district 1, is now marked with shining skyscrapers including high-rise apartments, international hotels, and companies. Ho Chi Minh City is also the cultural center and economic capital of the country. The city with its teeming metropolis mingled with the elegance of ancient culture is the best representation for the whole of Vietnam.

With its charm, Ho Chi Minh City is a wonderful and the most suitable place for organizing the second Green Technologies for Sustainable Water (GTSW 2019), as the first conference (GTSW 2017) was successfully organized in Ha Noi by the Vietnam-Japan University. This time, GTSW 2019 is hosted and organized by Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Institute for Environment and Resources (IER), Vietnam Japan University, CARE-RESCIF, Tianjin Chengjian University, and Tianjin Polytechnic University. GWST 2019 will also include the 4th International Membrane Bioreactor and Scientific Writing Workshops.

DOWNLOAD: GTSW 2019 Call for Papers (PDF)

Important Dates

Abstract submission deadline   June 30, 2019

Abstract acceptance notice       July 15, 2019

Early bird registration                 July 30, 2019

Conference                                  Dec 1-5, 2019

 

Conference Topics

GTSW-2019 will cover the latest scientific & technological developments for:

  • Wastewater treatment and reuse
  • Resource recovery from wastewater
  • Control of greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment processes
  • Water resourcemanagement and water supply
  • Nanotechnology for water treatment
  • Advanced analytical methods for water and wastewater
  • Disruptive technologies and applications for water resource treatment and management

For more information about the conference, check out the even website here http://gtsw2019.hcmut.edu.vn/

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The 6th European Conference on Environmental Applications of Advanced Oxidation Processes

No photo description available.The 6th European Conference on Environmental Applications of Advanced Oxidation Processes will take place in Portorož, Slovenia from 26th – 28th June 2019. The conference will bring together scientists, engineers and other environmental professionals to present their findings and discuss future trends and directions concerning various environmental applications of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). The contributions will focus on the scientific and technological advances of AOPs for the remediation of water, air and soil contaminated with various recalcitrant compounds, either alone or in combination with other processes.

Registration is required for all participants and accompanying guests. Please complete and submit on-line the Registration Form  to the EAAOP-6 Secretariat. Use a separate form for each participant and accompanying guest. Register here.

Early bird registration deadline: To take advantage of the reduced conference registration fees, register before or on 15 April 2019. Higher fees apply after 15 April 2019.

Plenary speakers 

Prof. Dr. Angelika Brückner

Prof. Dr. Kazunari Domen

Dr. Wolfgang Gernjak

Prof. Dr. Gianluca Li Puma

Keynote speakers

Dr. Isabel Oller Alberola

Dr Fernando Fresno

Prof. Dr. Josef Krýsa

Prof. Dr. Urška Lavrenčič Štangar

For more information about the conference, check out the event website here http://eaaop6.ki.si/

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Outstanding Reviewers for Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology in 2018

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology in 2018, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Dr Caitlyn Butler, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Dr Neal Tai-Shung Chung, National University of Singapore
Dr Pei-Ying Hong, King Abdullah University – KAUST
Dr Kyoung-Yeol Kim, University at Albany-SUNY
Dr James Landon, University of Kentucky
Dr Long Nghiem, University of Technology Sydney
Dr Zhiyong Jason Ren, Princeton University
Dr Adam Smith, University of Southern California
Dr Zhiwei Wang, Tongji University
Dr Qian Zhang, University of Minnesota

We would also like to thank the Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology board and the Environmental Chemistry community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us at eswater-rsc@rsc.org with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre

 

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Indo-UK Researcher Links Workshop on Waste Water Management, Chandigarh, 3-5 July 2019

A three day workshop on Waste Water Management will be held under the Researcher Links scheme offered within the Newton Fund in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry, by the British Council, at the Sophisticated Analytical Instrumentation Facility, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India during July 03 – 05, 2019. The workshop is being coordinated by Professor S. K. Mehta (Director SAIF, Panjab University, Chandigarh) and Dr. A. O. Ibhadon (University of Hull, Hull, UK) and will have contributions from leading researchers from the UK and India

This workshop, match-funded by the British Council and the Royal Society of Chemistry, is designed to deliver skills, knowledge and provide a platform for discussing and adopting an integrated system approach to develop innovative, scalable and energy efficient chemical solutions to wastewater management.

40 places (20 each) are available for UK and Indian early career researchers (post docs, research assistants, assistant lecturers / assistant professors, PhD students, MSc students in the final year of their research project) to attend. You should be an environmental or analytical chemist or chemical engineer, working in the field of water quality monitoring and wastewater treatment. All economy flights and reasonable accommodation expenses will be covered.

To request further information and apply, please contact workshop co-ordinators Prof. S. K. Mehta, Panjab University, indouk2019pu@gmail.com or Prof Alex Ibhadon, University of Hull, A.O.Ibhadon@hull.ac.uk. The deadline for applications is Monday 29 April 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday 29 May 29 2019.

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GAC-sand or anthracite-sand biofilters, that is the question

Written by Rachele Ossola

The removal of biodegradable organic matter (BOM) from drinking water treatment plan effluents is a key issue in water treatment technology. BOM consists of oxygenated compounds such as carbohydrates, small carbonyls and carboxylic acids that are mainly produced during ozonation, a treatment performed to decrease the organic carbon content of the inflow. Biodegradable organic matter is an excellent carbon source and can foster microbial growth within the distribution system, leading to a decrease in the microbiological water quality.

Biofilters can help solving this problem. Different from conventional filters, biofilters are composed of an inert material, either anthracite, sand or granular activated carbon (GAC), which microorganisms can grow on. Common types include the GAC-sand and the anthracite-sand biofilters. As a general strategy, the raw water is first ozonated, leading to a decrease of organic carbon, but an increase in BOM. Then the BOM-rich water is circulated through the biofilter, where BOM is used as a substrate for microbial growth1.

Biofilters are in every respect “living organisms”, whose activity and effectiveness can change over time. Thus, a systematic evaluation of risks and benefits is of primary importance. Following the detection of free-living amoebas in GAC-sand filter effluents, de Vera et al. set a study with the aim of investigating the effect of biofilter media on the microbiological quality of the effluent and on the microbial community of the biofilters. Amoebas have not been thoroughly studied in drinking water biofilters, and also include pathogenic species that have recently been listed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Contaminant Candidate List.

De Vera et al. collected water samples from an operating drinking water treatment plan that was equipped with both GAC-sand and anthracite-sand biofilters. They measured turbidity, particle counts and ATP counts in the effluent, concluding that the anthracite-sand biofilter was more effective in preventing biomass release – thus, the microbiological quality of the effluent was higher. According to the authors, this effect was due to the ability of the GAC-sand biofilters to quench residual chlorine, which was present in the biofilter influent. This allowed greater biomass development and biofilter activity, but also increased the release of microorganisms in the effluent.

Using molecular biology techniques, the authors analyzed the microbial community structure of the two filter types. Their results showed that substantially different bacterial and invertebrate communities are present in the two biofilters, with the GAC-sand filters hosting a richer and more diverse bacterial community. Instead, a high fraction of chlorine-resistant bacteria was present in the anthracite-sand biofilters, as the result of the selective pressure caused by the residual chlorine.

In conclusion, the authors recommend the use of anthracite-sand over the GAC-sand biofilters, as the microbiological quality of the resulting effluent was higher. Despite being often preferred over the anthracite-sand filter, as they are more effective in degrading contaminants of emerging concern2, the GAC-sand biofilters can accumulate and release pathogenic organisms, potentially posing risks to public health.

To download the full article, click the link below:

Impact of upstream chlorination on filter performance and microbial community structure of GAC and anthracite biofilters

Glen Andrew de Vera,  Daniel Gerrity, Mitchell Stoker, Wilbur Frehner and Eric C. Wert

Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2018, 4, 1133

DOI: 10.1039/c8ew00115d


About the Webwriter:

Rachele Ossola is a PhD student in the Environmental Chemistry group at ETH Zurich. Her research focuses on photochemistry of dissolved organic matter in the natural environment.

 

 

 


Additional references:

(1) Terry and Summers, Water Research 2018, 128, 234-245

(2) Ma et al., Water Research 2018, 146, 67-76

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Emerging Investigator Series – Samuel Snow

Samuel Snow is an assistant professor of environmental engineering within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Louisiana State University. He earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2014 after completing a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, also at GT. After completing his graduate work, Dr. Snow briefly worked at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality before accepting a postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University in 2015. In the Fall of 2016, he began his appointment at LSU. Some of Snow’s research interests include the developing new water treatment processes and understanding the role of photochemical processes in environmental systems. One of the most motivating goals of his is to produce technologies that enable socio-economic progress in under-developed contexts: a topic that also bridges his teaching and research activities.

Read his Emerging Investigator article “Photocatalysis for MBR effluent post-treatment: assessing the effects of effluent organic matter characteristics” and read more about him in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on photocatalysis for MBR effluent post-treatment. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

When I was an undergraduate student, I worked on a project that aimed to better understand phosphorus cycling in an estuarine system. As a graduate student, I delved into photochemistry and nanotechnology in an effort to advance new disinfection technologies. Gradually, my focus has expanded from my graduate work to investigate the role that dissolved organic matter plays in interfering with photochemical processes. My recent article highlighted here takes a novel approach toward understanding the inhibitory interactions between organic matter and photocatalysts. This work continues in my overall theme of investigating processes related to water quality, and I have enjoyed the foray into the field of dissolved organic matter.

 What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

I am excited to be working in the field of photochemistry right now, because advances in LED technologies are opening up many new possibilities in water treatment. Whether it be retrofitting traditional UV disinfection systems or designing new advanced oxidation processes, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved with these new frontiers.

 In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

Regarding the field of photocatalysis, there has been an elephant in the room for a long time. Despite decades of research and promise, photocatalysts have found very few practical applications. I believe the most pressing question would be, ‘how can we solve the problem of radical diffusion limitations (and thereby poor Contact Time) in photocatalytic systems?’ Photocalytic systems will only find practical application in water treatment if a robust answer to this question is formulated.

 What do you find most challenging about your research?

I find that getting at the heart of any research question in the Environmental field requires extensive knowledge in other fields. At times, I feel I would need graduate degrees in materials science, analytical chemistry, and microbiology all at once to understand just one piece of the puzzle. Diving into literature outside my comfort zone is always challenging, humbling, and exhilarating.

 In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I will be in Orlando, FL for the American Chemical Society meeting in March/April, 2019. While I have not yet formalized my plans, I hope to attend the 2019 Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization conference with one of my graduate students.

How do you spend your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my wife, with friends, and sometimes simply on my own for some introvert time. I tend to go with the flow in terms of recreation, but I particularly enjoy activities that challenge my mental and physical aptitude or simply involve peaceful time in nature. Basketball, Frisbee (ultimate and disc golf), fishing, hiking, and strategy games are all high on my list.

 Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I have a funny story here… When I was young, I always thought that I’d like to be a marine biologist. People always told me that there were too few jobs and they required so much school that I shouldn’t even bother trying. Ironically, I listened to that advice but then went on to jump through the equivalent academic hoops in environmental science & engineering. To answer the question: I probably would have followed my father’s footsteps and taken up computer programming.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Do not to put the cart before the horse, particularly with regard to academic metrics. During my brief time outside academia, I was encouraged to read a book called The 4 Disciplines of Execution, and I found one core concept to be profoundly meaningful: lag- versus lead-measures. Impact factors, publications, presentations, and the like are all measures of success that lag behind the daily work. Those are the metaphorical cart. The lead measures are the horse, and we have to bet on what kind of horse can pull the cart forward. My personal bet is that tenure and academic success will follow naturally if I can lead my research group towards answering meaningful scientific questions by making weekly, incremental steps and by embracing failures (aka the moments when learning happens). It’s easier to adjust a lead measure that isn’t generating progress than to forcibly move the lag measures.

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2019 IUVA World Congress

We are delighted to announce this year’s 2019 IUVA World Congress on February 10th – 13th 2019 in Sydney Australia. The conference program will feature three days of presentations covering recent advancements in water and wastewater treatment with the emphasis on water disinfection and contaminants control, application of UV-AOP, as well as new findings in the development of UV-LEDs.

The World Congress will be chaired by Kumiko Oguma (University of Tokyo) and co-organised by ESWRT Associate Editor Stuart Khan. For full details about the conference event and how to register, visit the conference website here http://iuva.org/2019

Remember to register before 25th January 2019 to attend and hear about novel developments and practical applications of UV technologies.

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TransCon2019

Understanding and managing microbial biotransformation of environmental contaminants

TransCon2019 will take place this year from 28. April to 3. May, 2019 at the Congressi Stefano FransciniMonte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland.

Environmental microbial communities are key in detoxifying the environment from chemical contaminants by degrading them to less active substances, but we still lack a sufficiently mechanistic understanding of microbial biotransformation that is essential to progress in different fields of application, including water treatment and chemical risk assessment. Recently, a number of analytical tools have become available that enable scientists to study microbial biotransformation of contaminants and causal links between specific microorganisms and contaminant removal at the level of complex environmental communities and which thus have revolutionized the field. We expect that TransCon2019 will act as a catalyst in contaminant biotransformation research by gathering the leading scientists in the field to take stake of the progress and consolidate our understanding of the principles underlying contaminant biotransformation in natural and engineered environments.

The conference will be structured along four key topics (click on the topic’s title for more details):

  1. Frontiers in analytical and bioinformatics techniques to characterize contaminant biotransformation and microbial community characteristics
  2. Linking contaminant biotransformation to influencing factors and microbial community characteristics
  3. Adopting new knowledge for the design of next-generation biological water treatment systems
  4. Implications for prediction and regulatory assessment of biotransformation

For further information about the event including a full list of confirmed speakers and how to register, please visit the conference website here: https://transcon2019.ch 

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