Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Manchester makes contribution to improving global health

14.12.2006
A University of Manchester researcher has won a prestigious award for an innovation that could help deliver pollution-free water to people around the world.

Dr Nigel W Brown, who lives in Alsager, has been given the Award for Innovation by the Royal Society of Chemistry Process Technology Group, in recognition of five years of research into a system called Aquacart that removes toxic organic contaminants from waste water.

Harmful compounds can be removed from sewage and waste water by a process called ‘activated carbon adsorption’ – a technique used in kitchen water filters.

On an industrial scale the carbon used is regenerated at high temperature, which is a complex and costly business.

Dr Brown’s Aquacart system makes use of a new material called Nyex, developed in conjunction with Nykin Development of Betley. This has a high electrical conductivity allowing fast, effective and cheap electrochemical regeneration, which allows the material to be used again.

Using this technology, it appears that pollutants are completely destroyed, leaving no residue.

The award from the RSC – sponsored by AstraZeneca, British Nuclear Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Syngenta – recognises the practical application of Dr Brown’s innovative cleaning process, which is housed in a special unit.

For the first time, this unit allows simultaneous and continuous adsorption and regeneration to take place. It has a simple design, no moving parts and low costs – and its success has led to two patent applications.

The development of Aquacart is happening at a time when industry is coming under increasing pressure from the public and the authorities to reduce the level of toxic organic contaminants being discharged. Some of these are known to affect the hormone systems of animals and cause the feminisation of fish.

Research indicates that the Aquacart system has the potential to meet the challenges of new and proposed legislation. It’s also believed the system will be applicable not just for the treatment of sewage but also for processes like effluent polishing, groundwater treatment, colour removal, the recycling of process water and potable water treatment involving the removal of pesticides.

“The supply of safe water to the world’s people, animals and plants will be an over-riding concern of the 21st century,” said Dr Brown. “This means reducing pollution and ensuring, in an affordable manner, a sufficient supply of uncontaminated water.

“In contributing to solving this world-wide problem, the University has registered a notable achievement and added a new process to available techniques. I hope this will make a small, yet significant, contribution to a healthier world.”

Aquacart’s development has been possible thanks to grants of £195,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through its Water Infrastructure and Treatment programme, with follow-on-funding of £56,000.

Further financial assistance has been provided by the University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP), which is helping Dr Brown explore Aquacart’s commercial potential.

Dr Brown, a former research student of Dr Ted Roberts in the University’s School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, has had wide experience of industry, and is staunchly committed to university-industry collaboration.

He and the research team are now aiming to obtain further funding to build a pilot system capable of processing larger volumes of water. This is likely to be a collaborative project involving two water companies over an 18-month period.

Jon Keighren | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

nachricht From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>