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USM Student Invents Material To Rehabilitate Waste Water


Realising the importance of clean water for more than 27 million people in Malaysia, two USM students successfully produced a material which is able to absorb heavy metal from industrial waste water.

The product, called “mobilised Yeast” was created by Eka Anggraini Azuardi and Nazira Khabibor Rahman – both final year student from the USM Chemical Engineering Research Centre.

The product, is not only effective but also more economical, compared with the current method.

According to Eka Anggraini, the product was invention using the bio absorption method – by changing yeast which are used in food, as heavy metal absorption agent, in the waste water.

The yeast is produced in the shape of beads in cream colour. The beads would be mixed in the waste water which is to be treated.

When the heavy metal is absorbed, the beads will change to a blue-ish colour. The whole process will be repeated to ensure that the waste water is completely free of heavy metal, said Eka Anggraini.

The research started since June 2007 as the two students’ final year project.

Eka Anggraini said through the research and laboratory tests, “Immobilised Yeasts” showed very encouraging effectiveness.

Heavy metal consumed by our human body would not be able to flush out. It will remain in the body and may cause very serious health problems.

If the waste water does not go through proper treatment, it will have negative effects on human and other living creatures on the earth, said Eka Anggraini.

She added that, to date, there are only three ways to treat waste water, namely ion changing, membrane technology and abstractive chemical process.

Nevertheless, these methods are very expensive and often, bring negative consequences to the environment.

Optimistic with the research results, Eka Anggraini said “Mobilised Yeasts” also has the potential to be expanded to treat water for various other purposes.

“Mobilised Yeasts” is one of the 145 products taking part in the National Level Research and Innovation Competition 2008 in USM.

The competition lasted three days from 20 May 2008.

NOTE: Translated from Malay Language. Original article :

Mohamad Abdullah | ResearchSEA
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