Environmental impact of conventional disinfection techniques (such as chlorination) cannot be over-emphasized. The current technologies are in need for novel materials with limited or no toxicity to the environment and yielding to high disinfection efficiency, as well as design of high-performance reactors to deploy these materials.
The aim of the project is to design a pilot scale fixed-bed reactor where supported silver nanoparticles on kaolin or ZnO-based glass as efficient and sustainable antimicrobial material for disinfection unit operation in wastewater treatment plants. The activities will be run in two phases—scalable production of environmentally friendly biocidal materials and design of a pilot scale fixed bed reactor to test these materials in a condition that mimics real-life applications. These materials to be synthesized and tested are characterized by: a) low cost, b) high efficiency towards recalcitrant micro-organisms; c) low potential to develop antimicrobial resistance; and d) long-term stability.
Material characterization will follow after synthesis, then the materials will be tested for their disinfectant capabilities in a pilot scale fixed bed reactor. The experimental results to be obtained will be validated using appropriate computational transport and kinetic modelling. The performance of the pilot system will be benchmarked with conventional techniques to evaluate its efficiency and large-scale deployment. This project is of great importance to the UAE, because it will bolster its position as a proponent of sustainable development goals (SDGs), especially the 6th SDG, and sustain its mission and vision to build and accomplish sustainable growth and economy.