Fuhar Dixit

Research Topic

Wastewater to drinking water: Alternative low cost water reuse technologies

Research Description

Drinking water supplies are derived from a variety of natural surface and ground water sources across the globe. As population grows, urbanization, droughts and climate change continue to impact natural water resources. Public water supplies are becoming stressed and necessitate the development of new strategies to meet future demands. One such strategy is the reuse of municipal wastewater, which is an increasingly important water supply option worldwide. Planned potable reuse has recently gained interest in the arid areas of Western Australia and North America, where the community’s wastewater is used as a source of drinking water. However, wastewater reuse requires advanced treatment technologies since these waters contain a range of chemical and microbial contaminants that can result in a range of human health implications when ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. These technologies are often quite expensive since they employ processes like Reverse Osmosis (RO) and chemical oxidation to ensure maximum removal of the known contaminants. This research aims to investigate the potential application of ion exchange (IX) resins, a low-cost treatment process for the removal of organic contaminants, and Vacuum-UV, a chemical free advanced oxidation technology, as a low-cost and robust alternative for wastewater reuse purposes. Extensive studies will be performed on municipal wastewaters to optimize the resin dosage and the effect of source water characteristics on treatment processes will be evaluated to fabricate efficient low-cost reactor set-up configurations.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I wish to delve further into my research interests in the field of environmental protection and water treatment during my doctoral studies. Particularly, I hope to contribute to the work on low cost technologies for water reuse applications. To date, I have extended the collaboration with the University of Southern California (USC, LA) for performing pilot studies and will be working with other network collaborators from Ecole Polytechnique (Montreal), city of Vancouver (BC) and city of Kelowna (BC) for investigating alternative low cost water treatment technologies for wastewater reuse applications. At UBC I am able to extend the knowledge from my master’s research work and utilize the research, industrial and community connections with IC-IMPACTS and RES’EAU WaterNET for performing field experiments in various communities in North America and India.

 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

My decision to pursue doctoral studies emanates from my passion for gathering and sharing knowledge which I have gained through valuable research experience in the field of water remediation and environmental protection during my masters at the University of British Columbia and through exchanges with The University of Tokyo (Japan) and Western University (Canada). In the future, I wish to delve further into my research interests in the field of water treatment and keep contributing to the field of environmental engineering. Financial support, chemical transport and improper treatment technologies are the major constraints involved in addressing the need of providing safe drinking water in small and remote communities of North America. Therefore, developing a low cost water treatment system with low energy requirements involving academia, industries and community partners would be a very viable and attractive solution for these communities.

 

I wish to delve further into my research interests in the field of environmental protection and water treatment during my doctoral studies. Particularly, I hope to contribute to the work on low cost technologies for water reuse applications.