kharagpur, Researchers from IIT Kharagpur and Cardiff University have jointly bagged the Global Challenges Research Fund – Impact Acceleration Account (GCRF-IAA) Project 2020 towards the development of a photo-electro-catalytic (PEC) reactor for wastewater treatment.
Wastewater is increasingly becoming a global ‘health and livelihood challenge’, especially in developing countries. According to UN-Water globally, 80% of wastewater re-enters the ecosystem without any treatment affecting the health and livelihood of around 1.8 billion people. However, this wastewater can play a significant role in addressing urban water challenges, production of bioenergy, and even serve as a resource in sustainable agriculture and industries. Over the years, researchers at IIT Kharagpur have developed innovative solutions for recycling and reusing wastewater and wet-waste.
“A key issue in wastewater treatment is the removal of recalcitrant organic pollutants. Photo-electro-catalysis is an effective and sustainable mechanism that employs photocatalysts to degrade the polluting particles. At IIT Kharagpur we will initiate catalytic development, characterization, design of the PEC plant and optimizing the technology in order to make a proof of concept for end-users/industries,” said Prof. A Rajakumar from the Dept. of Chemistry at IIT Kharagpur. The scientists at School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, UK will conduct sophisticated studies on the catalytic materials using technical tools and high-end computational calculations.
“We are planning to do testing of the pilot-plant operation in the field after initial lab-based experiments and demonstrate the outcome for the benefit of industries by offering a reliable solution of water treatment technology,” remarked Prof. M M Ghangrekar. Further explaining the functioning of the PEC reactor, he said, it will be very effective in removing emerging contaminants, which are not getting removed in the conventional treatment to make the water safe for any reuse after suitable disinfection as per the need.
The GCRF grant, which part of the £1.5 billion fund coordinated by UK Research and Innovation, will ensure the maximization of collaborative opportunities between the two institutions as part of its mandate to address the challenges faced by developing countries in agreement with the UN sustainable development goals.