Engineering Now :: Volume 6 - Edition 5 :: March 2009

NSERC-CRD Grant Success for Chemical Engineering Professors

Dr. Mita Ray and Dr. George Nakhla received $272,500 from combining Trojan Technologies, Ontario Center for Excellence and NSERC-CRD for a project on Pretreatment of Bio-solid using Advanced Oxidation Processes.

There has been growing concern about the presence of persistent chemicals such as pesticides, aromatic compounds, alkylphenols, phytoestrogens and natural estrogens in wastewater effluent and sludge. Land application of biosolids (sludge) from wastewater treatment is one of the most common ways of biosolids disposal. Biosolids can be a major sink for some persistent chemicals and may be a potential important route through which they enter the environment. In this project, pretreatment of sludge will be conducted using advanced oxidation processes prior to anaerobic digestion, which generate hydroxyl radical in the system. Hydroxyl radical and other oxygenated species can degrade the persistent chemicals present in the sludge effectively or produce intermediates which are amenable to subsequent biodegradation. Because of its ability to oxidize many organic substrates like carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, hydroxyl radical promotes peroxidation of polyunsaturated phospholipid components of the lipid membrane and be able to inactivate some of the pathogens present in the sludge rendering the biosolid useful for Class A application without any advance treatment.

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.: Allison Stevenson
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Phone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808