UNBC researcher receives five-year, $147,500 grant for wastewater treatment


The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant is supporting Dr. Oliver Iorhemen in his research to extract valuable resources from wastewater.

Dr. Iorhemen is Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at UNBC.

He is studying ways to extract xanthan, curdlan, tyrosine and phenylalanine from wastewater.

“The outcome of this research will open up a whole new vista of opportunities for economic success, as many companies in Canada need these four resources as raw materials, including food, biomedical, pharmaceutical, petroleum, petrochemical, construction, cosmetics , agricultural and environmental. industries,” Iorhemen said.

His research will focus on aerobic granular sludge (AGS), a technology used in municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants.

“Part of the goal of this research program is to develop appropriate extraction and purification methods for high-value products from biological wastewater and organic waste treatment systems,” Iorhemen said. “This concept is also in line with the biorefinery concept in wastewater management which seeks to extract resources from wastewater, providing the opportunity to obtain high-value products from wastewater.”

The grant, worth $147,500 over five years, will fund a research team around Dr. Iorhemen consisting of two doctoral students, two master’s students in applied science and five undergraduate students and a postdoctoral fellow.

For more information about the University and the scholarship, click here.


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