Water, Waste & Environment

April 2021

Design and Performance of Sustainable Recycled Barriers to Prevent Soil Pollution
Date: 15 April 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 2.00 pm (Germany) , ~60 Min
Speaker: Dr Mercedes Regadío
Language: English
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Description: The need to minimize the amount and foster the safe treatment of waste, and thereby reduce the risk of contamination; emphasises the importance of promoting technologies which are environmentally sound with products suitable for re-use/recycling. We will talk about a laboratory experimental study to determine the performance of clay mixed with construction and biomass plant residues as materials for the enhanced attenuation of contaminants in landfill leachate. Column experiments where landfill leachate is passed through different residues:clay mixtures are run in a state-of-the-art centrifuge facility which simulates realistic times, pressures, atmosphere and temperatures of landfill field conditions. After permeation with landfill leachate, the effects of exposure of these liners to a rainfall infiltration is studied. The concept is applicable for barrier design at other pollutant disposal facilities and provides an effective and more environmentally sustainable basis to control pollution risks.
Speaker: Dr Mercedes Regadío (PhD on Earth Science and the Environment, 2012) has mostly worked in 3 research groups from different countries, being the internal responsible of 10 research projects (>7M €). In the Dept. of Geology and Geochemistry (University Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, 2007-2013), she worked on the structure and properties of earth materials related to waste liners. In the Dept. of Chemistry (KU Leuven, Belgium, 2014-2017), she worked on the reactions acting on earth and waste materials and their (challenging) chemical analyses. In the Dept. of Civil and Structural Engineering (The University of Sheffield, UK, 2018-2020), she works on engineering principles to build high attenuation recycled anti-pollution barriers for waste deposits. This allowed her to acquire knowledge in different, but correlated scientific disciplines: geology, chemistry and environmental engineering. Parallel to her research, she lectured on related topics more than 400 h to bachelor's and master's students in Spain, Germany and UK. In addition, she has cosupervised (1) and is cosupervising (2) PhD students, technicians (4), postgraduate research stays (3) and mentored a postdoctoral fellow (Univ. of Manchester) and an early-stage researcher (Univ. Autónoma Madrid – TU Delft). She has 40 conference communications (80% international) and 54 published documents, which include 21 JCR articles. She has collaborated and published with 36 international researchers from more than 20 universities, research centres and companies. She is an Associate editor with honorarium of Heliyon Earth Science (Elsevier Ltd) and a topic editor of Minerals (MDPI). Finally, she is highly committed to supporting science as mentor of early-stage researchers (see above), jury member of scientific events (e.g., ChemCYS 2016, PhD defence 2020), organizer of international conferences (e.g., VIII International Symposium SRUK/CERU, Oxford 2020-2021), as regular reviewer of JCR journals and as science disseminator (12 engagement activities in the last 2 years).

Global Challenges in the Energy and Environment Sector: Prospects of Solar Thermal Energy
Date: 15 April 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 4.00 pm (Malaysia) , ~60 Min
Speaker: Dr. Md. Hasanuzzaman
Language: English
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Description: Energy is one of the basic needs for industrial process, economic growth, automation and modernization. Global energy supply predominantly comes from fossil fuel that are the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions that leads to climate change. Global urgency to hold back emissions rate drives for renewable energy sources. Solar energy is one of the potential resources and environmental friendly nature. A large portion of industrial process heat is low temperature that can easily be supplied by solar energy. Well-engineered integration of solar thermal heating with conventional heating systems is capable to ensure sustainable energy supply in industries.
Speaker: Dr. Hasanuzaman is working as Associate Professor at UMPEDAC, University of Malaya (QS world raking 59 for 2021). He was listed among the World's Top 2% Scientists for the year of 2019. He is an editor and author of the book Energy for Sustainable Development published by Elsevier. His research interests thermal engineering, renewable energy, energy policy, transport and electric vehicles. He has also authored and co-authored more than 100 research papers and 50 conference proceedings. He received University of Malaya Excellence Award 2012 for his outstanding achievement in PhD; Bangladesh Scholarship Council and the Nippon Foundation, Japan, 2003-2004.

May 2021

Sweetener-Xylitol Production from Biomass
Date: 08 May 2021 (Saturday)
Time: 4.00 pm (India) , ~60 Min
Speaker: Dr. Meena Krishania Choudhary
Language: English
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Description: Rice straw is one of the most common biomass sources, more than 580 million tons available worldwide every year. Presently, there is very limited use of rice straw (RS). First, most of the rice straw available after harvest is either left on the ground or burnt. The present talk is on the production of Xylitol, which is a sweetener and has wide applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries, from rice straw. The parameters were optimized for involved process, the pretreatment of rice straw via dilute acid-catalyzed steam pretreatment method. The impact of feedstock size, presoaking time at room temperature, acid concentration, and steam treatment’s duration on the efficacy of RS pretreatment were studied till scale-up. Fermentation of the pretreated RS hydrolysate (pre-hydrolysate) and semi-defined medium (control) for xylitol production in a 14 L fermentor also investigated. This study produces a sweetener-xylitol from rice straw, which have the potential for scalable to an industrial level, and simultaneously minimize the pollution problem caused by rice straw.
Speaker: Dr. Meena Krishania is currently a Faculty of Center and Applied Bioprocessing Center, Mohali, Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India. In 2007, she obtained her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biotechnology Engineering from Rajasthan University. In 2009, she received her M.Tech in Chemical Engineering at MNIT, Jaipur. In 2013, she completed her PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. After completing her PhD, Dr. Meena accepted a faculty position at the University of Amity, Haryana, where she taught students of B.Tech and M.tech. In 2014, she began working in CIAB, Mohali, where she has been since then. Dr. Meena has broadened her vision and continues her work on the valorization of biomass. Her work contributes to an appreciation of industrial constraints by continuously developing technology and offering better solutions. She filed 6 patents, wherein one is granted and one technology transferred to the industry. She has more than 20 publications in reputable national and international journals, one book, and 3 chapters. She also delivered many presentations at national and international conferences in India, Thailand, Malaysia, London etc.

August 2021

Polymers for gas separation membranes: where are we now?
Date: 12 August 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 3.00 pm (Germany) , ~60 Min
Speaker: Dr. Maria Giovanna Buonomenna
Language: English
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Description: The key parameters for gas separations employing membranes are the permeability of a specific component of the gas mixture and the selectivity. Membrane gas separation employing polymeric membranes has been commercially used since the 1970s generating a significant amount of academic and industrial research activity. It was recognized that an empirical upper limit (the well-known “upper bound”) for the combined selectivity and permeability exists [1]: the selectivity generally decreases with increasing permeability of the more permeable gas component. Molecular sieve membranes with well-defined uniform pore structure would be considered to be the true upper bound limit for polymeric membranes. Recently this upper bound has been updated for relevant gas separations by microporous rigid polymeric membranes . In this Webinar, an analysis of recent findings for industrially relevant gas pairs, such as CO2/CH4, CO2/N2 is given.
Speaker: M. G. Buonomenna (Salerno, 1975), graduated in Chemistry in 1998 (110/110), obtained the license and status of Professional Chemist in 1999 (100/100). She was awarded a Research Fellowship in Membrane Materials and Operations in 1999 from the Institute on Membrane and Technology (ITM) (former IRMERC)-National Research Council of Italy (CNR) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Materials in 2005 from the University of Calabria. In February 2014 and for the second time in October 2018 she obtained the qualification of Associate Professor in Chemical Fundamentals of Technologies from the Italian Ministry for Instruction, University and Research (MIUR). Her research activities relate to membrane science and technology for sustainable processes. She is author of more than 60 scientific papers in peer-reviewed international journals, 1 book, more than 90 contributions published in conferences proceedings, 10 chapters of scientific books, editor of 1 book on advanced membrane materials, guest-editor of 9 Special Issues in peer-reviewed international journals, and member of the Editorial Boards for a number of international peer reviewed journals. She has been an Invited Speaker in numerous international conferences. She serves as reviewer for several international scientific journals and as Expert Evaluator for International Funding Agencies.