Making the Most of Wastewater
Three billion people do not have access to clean water and sanitation. Worse, developing and underdeveloped economies are attempting to use outdated wastewater-treatment technologies. On the other hand, many of the ‘waste’ streams harmful to human and environmental health are actually rich in resources such as energy, chemicals, and water. If they could be recovered rather than discarded, it should be possible to make wastewater treatment and sanitation resource-neutral or even resource-positive. This Master Class will focus on re-engineering global elemental cycles (including carbon and nitrogen) as a necessary step toward waste-fueled biorefineries and explore various pathways to sustainable clean water and sanitation and the production of renewable energy, chemicals, and nutrients.
Kartik Chandran is associate professor of earth and environmental engineering at Columbia University. In 2015 he was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Grant. He has also won the Water Environment Research Foundation Paul L. Busch Award, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and a National Academies of Science Fellowship. His appointments prior to joining Columbia include his role as a senior technical specialist with the private engineering firm Metcalf and Eddy of New York, where he contributed to New York City’s efforts to achieve significant improvements to its water quality. Chandran earned a B.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology at Roorkee and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.