Professor Satinder Kaur Brar of INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre has been awarded the E3S Grand Prize in the category of University Research. The American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEES) presented the award in recognition of Dr. Brar's outstanding and groundbreaking research leading to the development of new hybrid technologies for removing emerging trace contaminants from drinking water and wastewater.
Pharmaceutically active compounds are present in very low concentrations in air, water, and soil, where they may cause antibiotic resistance, fish feminization, and other disorders in other organisms. Wastewater treatment plants are not adept at breaking them down, hence there is aneed to find new treatments to degrade them before releasing in the air, water, and soil.
Dr. Brar's team conducted many experiments that combined different treatment technologies with enzymes. The overall removal efficiency was dramatically improved, thus showing the value of hybrid enzymatic treatment. The technology uses green chemistry principles, transforms emerging trace contaminants into innocuous compounds, and can be used for in-situ and ex-situ treatment of contaminated wastewaters and waters at lower cost.
Dr. Brar is enthusiastic about her results. "These hybrid technologies have a lot of potential," she declared. "They're an affordable way for cities to keep their wastewater treatment systems secure by giving them the capacity to degrade plasticizers and other emerging contaminants, adapt to climate change, and ensure the health of the public." Dr. Brar is a noted authority in the field of pollution control and bioconversion.
She received the award at the annual Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science Awards Luncheon on April 13, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington DC. The awards identify and reward the best in environmental engineering. Professor Brar's team included researcher Rao Y. Surampalli with water sciences doctoral candidates D. Mohapatra, F. Gassara, G. S. Dhillon, R. Pulicharla, L. Lonappan, M. Taheran, R. K. Das, M. Nagdhi, and V. Pachapur, as well as postdoctoral fellows T. Rouissi, S. J. Sarma, and M. Cledon.
Our heartiest congratulations to Dr. Brar and her hardworking team on their groundbreaking achievement that improves everyone's quality of life!