Prof. Xinmin Zhan presented his research on NEO-GREEN (Natural/Nano Iron sulphidEs based biOtechnoloGy towaRds nExt gEneratioN wastewater treatment) in the International Water Association Nutrient Removal and Recovery Conference (NRR2018) in Brisbane in 18-22 November, 2018. Through NEO-GREEN, a future wastewater treatment process which will achieve recovery of bioenergy, nitrogen removal and phosphorus recovery from wastewaters with much reduced operation cost can be developed. He told the audience that the NEO-GREEN concept is achievable, compared with the recently widely studied ANAMMOX-based mainstream wastewater treatment process. The concept is the result of studies in a number of years with funding from EU-Marie Curie programme, China Scholarship Council, and the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the DairyWater project (Ref. 13-F-507).
Prof. Xinmin Zhan was invited by Prof. Yongzhen Peng to visit the School of Environmental and Energy Engineering at Beijing University of Technology in the period of 7 -10 November, 2018. Prof. Zhan presented the concept of NEO-GREEN (Natural/Nano Iron sulphidEs based biOtechnoloGy towaRds nExt gEneratioN wastewater treatment). In his presentation, Prof. Zhan at first briefly introduced the culture and natural beauty of Ireland and the engineering research carried out in the National University of Ireland, Galway. Then, he introduced his research interest and research projects, with the focus on the IASBR technology and the DairyWater project. Prof. Zhan then discussed the laboratory- and pilot-scale research on simultaneous removal of nitrogen and phosphorus through natural and nano iron sulfides based biofilters. Finally, he proposed the novel concept of NEO-GREEN, with which a future wastewater treatment process which will achieve recovery of bioenergy, nitrogen removal and phosphorus recovery from wastewaters with much reduced operation cost can be developed. The NEO-GREEN concept is achievable, compared with the recently widely studied ANAMMOX-based mainstream wastewater treatment process.
Prof. Yongzheng Peng is famous worldwide in the area of biological wastewater treatment, in particular nitrogen removal. He is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Principal Professor in Environmental Science and Engineering at Beijing University of Technology, and the Director of the Beijing Engineering Technology Research Center of Wastewater Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal.
Prof. Zhan’s research group has published a paper on Start up of partial nitritation-anammox process using intermittently aerated sequencing batch reactor: performance and microbial community dynamics. This research is co-funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the DairyWater project (Ref.: 13-F-507) and China Scholarship Council.
In his research, he investigated the performance and microbial community dynamics in an intermittently aerated sequencing batch reactor (IASBR) when he developed a new start-up method for the partial nitritation-anammox (PN-A) process. The robustness of this PN-A IASBR system in achieving long-term efficient nitrogen removal was also investigated. Stable partial nitritation with a nitrite accumulation ratio of about 80% was firstly achieved in the IASBR. Then, PN-A process with total nitrogen removal of up to 81.5% was established due to the thriving of anammox bacteria Candidatus Kuenenia resulting from the reduction of the aeration rate. Molecular analysis showed that both bacterial and archaeal communities shifted greatly throughout the start-up stage and the PN-A stage. Besides bacterial genus Nitrosomonas, ammonium-oxidizing archaea (AOA) Candidatus Nitrososphaera with a high abundance of 3.44% also contributed to partial nitritation. Nitrospira was effectively restrained (abundance <1.6%) while methanogens co-existed with the aerobic and anaerobic nitrogen-conversion microorganisms. This study showed that IASBR configuration was efficient in starting up the PN-A process from return sludge, maintaining long-term efficient nitrogen removal and triggering the thrive of AOA.
The full paper is found at: Start-up of partial nitritation-anammox process using intermittently aerated sequencing batch reactor: Performance and microbial community dynamics. Science of Total Environment, 647, 1188-1198, 2019 (authors: Songkai Qiu, Yuansheng Hu, Rui Liu, Xiaolin Sheng, Lvjun Chen, Guangxue Wu, Hongying Hu, Xinmin Zhan)
Task 6 researchers based at the National University of Ireland, Galway have been investigating the dairy processing industry in Ireland using life cycle assessment to determine the environmental impact of this sector.
Title: Assessing the environmental impact of the dairy processing industry in the Republic of Ireland
Authors: William Finnegan, Jamie Goggins and Xinmin Zhan.
Journal: Journal of Dairy Research
This Research Communication describes the methodology used and the subsequent results obtained for an assessment of the environmental impact associated with the manufacture of dairy products in the Republic of Ireland. As the Irish dairy industry changes and grows, it is necessary to have a benchmark of the environmental performance of the sector if it is to remain sustainable in the future. In order to estimate the environmental impact, life cycle assessment has been implemented, which has been structured in accordance with the International Organisation for Standardisation guidelines. In this study, the environmental impact categories assessed are terrestrial acidification potential, cumulative energy demand, freshwater eutrophication potential, global warming potential, marine eutrophication potential and water depletion. The main Irish dairy products have been compared across these environmental impact categories in order to derive meaningful results. It is identified that packaging materials, particularly for infant formula, and energy usage, across each of the life cycle stages, should be targeted as these are the most significant contributors to the overall environmental impact.
Congratulations to William and all co-authors.