Westminster academics awarded a grant to develop an innovative technology for wastewater treatment

Biosciences 17 January 2018

Dr Godfrey Kyazze and Professor Taj Keshavarz from the Department of Life Sciences were recently awarded a Newton Fund Institutional Links grant to develop microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment and reuse. 

The project proposes, through collaborative research between the University of Westminster and Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (AEA), to develop a novel microbial fuel cell (MFC) system for industrial wastewater treatment with the University’s share from the grant worth £187k.

Textile wastewater is challenging to treat as it contains recalcitrant dyes (e.g. Azo dyes) and the wastewater is usually complex containing particulates, high salt concentrations, with low/high pH - all of which pose problems to conventional wastewater treatment methods.

MFC technology uses naturally occurring bacteria in biofilm-based reactors to treat wastewater and generate a small amount of electricity. The treated water can be used by communities where water is scarce for non-potable purposes like irrigation or to be reused by industries for cleaning or cooling.

The project addresses the challenge of water scarcity and water quality in Egypt, creates opportunities for innovative collaborative research, and has the potential to positively impact the economy and social welfare of both countries by mitigating the pollution of water bodies from contaminated wastewater while providing water for reuse.

Learn more about Microbial Electron Transfer: Research and Innovation for Social Welfare (METRIS) project.


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