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This is a specialised elective subject covering a range of environmental and waste treatment topics of key importance to society and of relevance to most chemical engineering industries. The subject builds on core chemical engineering knowledge and is complementary to the material presented in the Bioprocess Engineering subject and the Biochemical Engineering course. In this subject, students will develop a broad understanding of the nature of waste streams and the principles underlying their treatment. The subject will allow students to learn how to apply chemical and bioprocess engineering knowledge in the design and operation of a range of processes used to treat a variety of domestic, industrial and agricultural wastes. In addition to traditional processes, emphasis is placed on how improved processes can be developed to meet future challenges.
The principles and technical knowledge developed in this subject are central to chemical engineers working on waste treatment in chemical industries and for municipal water and environmental management.
Topics covered include: the characteristics of liquid and solid wastes and the objectives of waste treatment; important waste assay procedures; primary, secondary and tertiary wastewater treatment processes; physical and chemical treatment processes for both liquid and solid wastes; biological waste treatment and the role of various microbial groups: anaerobic, facultative, aerobic and aerated lagoons and factors affecting their design; activated sludge and related processes; adherent growth processes and associated design considerations; biological and physico-chemical removal of nitrogen and phosphorus; anaerobic processes and their use in liquid and solid waste treatment; treatment and disposal of biosolids; recycling and reuse of wastes; sustainability and cleaner production.
A practical laboratory session using a bench scale wastewater treatment system will also be conducted.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject the student is expected to:
- Understanding the important characteristics of waste streams and the engineering and biological principles underlying their treatment
- Design key elements of a wastewater treatment plant
- Analyse the performance of a bench scale activated sludge unit
- Capacity for independent thought
- Ability to comprehend complex concepts and communicate lucidly this understanding
- Awareness of advanced technologies in the discipline
- Ability to work in a team (practical work component).
Last updated: 3 November 2022