2010 Indo-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

Technologies for a Clean Environment and Environmental Clean-up

March 12, 2010 15:30 – 17:00

This session will feature a combination of two distinct technical areas associated with the “environment”: (1) technologies for a cleaner environment and (2) environmental cleanup technologies. Both topics are of key importance in this era of increased environmental awareness. Due to diligent efforts of environmental engineers and scientists worldwide over the past few decades, great progress has been made in understanding the sources, fate and transport of substances that contaminate our air, surface water, soil and subsurface water aquifers. This progress has led to better technologies for controlling the environmental release of pollutants and for treating water, wastewater and contaminated sites. This enhanced understanding accompanied by rapid advances in treatment technologies have led to sophisticated legislation to address environmental problems, and an increased focus on pollution prevention. The topics covered in this session will explore technologies and alternative fuels as a method to decrease environmental pollution associated with traditional combustion technologies relying on coal and oil, and the identification of more sustainable energy sources. As the world faces the reality of a decreasing supply of clean water, the topics covered here will also present an overview of advanced technologies for the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, in addition to identifying sustainable water sources.
The first technical area in this session will focus on technologies for a clean environment. Following a quick overview summarizing the state of knowledge of the topic, two invited speakers, Suddhasatwa Basu from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi (India) and Aindrila Mukhopadhyay from the Joint Bioengineering Institute (USA), will discuss their perspectives on a range of clean technologies for the environment and their respective research areas. Dr. Basu will focus on fuel cell technologies which are of critical importance due to green house gas emissions from conventional combustion technologies and their impact on climate change on a global scale. This will be followed by a discussion by Dr. Mukhopadhyay on the identification of sustainable sources of transportation fuel with a focus on technologies that enable production of biofuels.
The second technical area in this session will focus on environmental cleanup technologies.  Following an overview of the challenges facing the environmental industry (with a focus on clean water and water scarcity) as well as currently available technologies for environmental cleanup, two invited speakers, Girish Iyer from GE Water and Process Technologies (India) and David Sedlak from the University of California at Berkeley (USA), will discuss the latest research trends associated with environmental cleanup technologies for drinking water, wastewater, recycled water and groundwater. First, Dr. Iyer will elaborate on the concept of ecoimagination, and the investment in and development of environmentally advanced technologies to treat wastewater, including an evaluation of the reliability of these technologies and their economic feasibility. Dr. Sedlak will then discuss the challenges we face as a society due to aging water and wastewater treatment systems in urban environments, and the potential for using treated wastewater as a water resource in water-stressed cities. Dr. Sedlak will then discuss his research which focuses on quantifying the potential risks associated with contaminant exposure during water reuse.

Production of Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Biomass using Microbial Systems