The SolArsenic and sea water desalination using membranes were the topics addressed by AMTC researcher Andreina García in the colloquium “Water quality and treatment”, held on Tuesday May 23rd at the University of Chile’s FCFM.
The event was organized by the Division of Hydric Resources and Environment of the Department of Civil Engineering (DIC) and its students center. The colloquium is part of a series of panels and seminars conceived under the slogan “Engineering solutions for the real world”, and aimed to present projects and initiatives within the faculty that can help solving the water scarcity problem and its constant demand by communities and the productive sector.
In that context, and before an audience of nearly 40 students and researchers, Dr. García detailed her project of sea water desalination using reverse osmosis membranes, in order to increase availability of this resource for the mining of the future. These membranes must also have anti-biofouling properties in order to avoid contamination by micro-organisms and thus extending their lifespan. Such property is granted by copper nanoparticles. Then Dr. García showed another of her projects: the SolArsenic system, that removes arsenic from water using a photoreactive system. This project aims to benefit the mining industry, but mainly to the rural communities of northern Chile, exposed to arsenic-polluted water, but with no resources to cleanse it.
Another lecturer was Dr. Ana Lucía Prieto, DIC teacher, who presented a project of hydrogen recovery from wastewater using microorganisms, as a way to deal with the hydric stress caused by the increasing demand of this resource in the planet. The colloquium ended with the lecture of Dr. Katherine Lizama, also a DIC professor, who talked about her project of construction of wetlands as a natural means of removing arsenic and metals from water, method that is more affordable and more accessible that conventional technology.