July 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm #2809HarrisonKeymaster2 pts
NTU, NUS win cash awards for sustainability research
07 July 2011 1700 hrs (SST)
SINGAPORE: Antibiotics, which are among the world’s most widely prescribed medicines, can easily find their way into rivers and lakes because they tend not to be removed through the normal sewage process.
But they can now be possibly removed from wastewater using activated carbon granules specially covered with a biofilm of microbes that can break down the antibiotic chemicals into harmless products.
The new technology was discovered by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) doctoral student, Sally Shen.
It promises to be a highly efficient way to remove antibiotics from wastewater and, once optimised, could be installed in treatment plants around the world.
The development comes as global concerns persist over the possible negative effects of antibiotics on the aquatic ecosystem and human health.
Another PhD student, Dr Mano Kalaiarasan from the National University of Singapore (NUS), studied how traffic-generated fine particles and nitrogen dioxide can have a great impact on environmental quality and health of the population.
These fine particles can find their way into humans and exacerbate respiratory problems such as asthma, and even lead to mortality.
These new findings will enable town planners, policy makers and architects to bring about better planning of township and design of naturally-ventilated buildings, which in turn reduce potential health risks of the residents.
Dr Mano and Dr Shen are among 10 students from NTU and NUS this year who have each won US$10,000 for being among their university’s top five completed PhD theses related to the environment, sustainability and metropolis of the future.
The award, given by the World Future Foundation (WFF), is the highest cash award among student prizes given out at Singapore universities.
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