From Flush to Fields: Wastewater and Agriculture
10 May 2022, 16:00:00
Every day we eat food that has been grown with the help of fertilizers and freshwater irrigation. Another thing we do daily is produce waste. This waste is treated by the municipality, producing water clean enough to return to our lakes. Cleaning the water is no easy task and uses a large amount of energy. But what if we did not need to clean the water completely? Our goal is to clean the water to the point where it is safe, reducing the energy use, without removing all the useful nutrients found in our waste. This water can be used by farmers to partially replace fertilizer and freshwater.
My background is in Chemical Engineering, which I studied at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. I obtained my bachelors, honors, and masters degrees there. During my honors I specialised in carbon technology, product design, and process integration, and my masters thesis was focused on small scale solar desalination. My PhD is currently focused on wastewater treatment and reuse, specifically aspects related to modeling, control, and fault detection within the process.