A solution to cleanse water environment of the young Doctor, Mr. Vo Thanh Huy

Posted at: MONday - 04/04/2016 10:36 - post name: Cộng tác viên

 
Vo Thanh Huy with his wife and daughter in receipt of his Doctor degree in Japan – (Picture provided by him)

Vo Thanh Huy with his wife and daughter in receipt of his Doctor degree in Japan – (Picture provided by him)

Dr. Vo Thanh Huy, lecturer of the Faculty of Urban Infrastructure Engineering (Central University of Civil Engineering) won Consolation Prize in the 6th Technical Innovation Contest of Phu Yen province (2014-2015) with the solution of "Wastewater disinfection using pressurized CO2 micro bubbles". He is also one of the 10 outstanding young talents of the whole country to be awarded with the 2014 Youth Science and Technology Golden Globe organized by the VUSTA in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Born on October 14, 1982 to a poor peasant family with many children (11 children), since his childhood, Thanh Huy was a determined and hard-working person. Without favorable conditions for additional learning as his peers, Vo Thanh Huy did farm work with his family and studied more at home throughout the years of learning at high school.

As a 12th grade student at Tran Quoc Tuan High School, Huy won the first prize in the provincial physics contest for excellent students. In 2000, Vo Thanh Huy simultaneously passed the entrance examinations in two universities (University of Technology and University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City). In 2005, after his graduation, he became a lecturer at the Central University of Civil Engineering. Three years later, Vo Thanh Huy received a Master degree in Environmental Technology at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology. In 2010, Vo Thanh Huy was selected to attend the Doctor training program abroad under the Program 322 of the Government. In 2014, he successfully defended the dissertation on “Wastewater disinfection method using pressurized CO2 micro bubbles" and received his Doctor degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Yamaguchi (Japan).

Talking on the sidelines of the Final Session of the 6thTechnical Innovation Contest of Phu Yen province (2014-2015), Dr. Huy said: "The issue of water sanitary and safety has attracted much attention and investment in research in many countries around the world. The normal disinfection methods such as the use of chlorine, ozone, ultraviolet light, membrane filtration... have partly exposed certain weaknesses. For many decades, chlorine has played a role as an irreplaceable disinfectant for water and wastewater thanks to its technical as well as economic efficiency. However, water has had increasingly complex properties and included many components of organic impurities. Unfortunately, chlorine is combined with these compounds to create extremely toxic post-disinfection byproducts which may cause cancers. Moreover, this method leaves a small amount of residual chlorine that intoxicates the aquatic life systems and is highly corrosive. Therefore, water treatment requires alternative disinfectants to limit the disadvantages of traditional disinfection methods. As a result, I participated in the Contest with the solution of "wastewater disinfection using pressurized CO2 micro bubbles". I am happy to know that the solution was selected to the Final round and do not hope for a prize because it is a new solution and also under experiment".

In this solution, Dr. Vo Thanh Huy used two techniques: Creation of micro bubbles (bubbles reach micron in size) and use of high-pressurized CO2, resulting in high solubility of CO2 in applied water. Artificial wastewater will be prepared in the laboratory with distilled water and concentrations of microorganisms cultured in the laboratory. This water sample represents desired water to be processed, that is, contaminated water after floods (local areas in the Central region), domestic and industrial irrigation water and general microorganism-polluted water. The invested method is to use high pressure equipment (up to 1 MPa) to support CO2’s dissolution in water and thereby easily inhibiting pathogens in water due to the highly characteristic extracting properties of CO2. Processing time will be considered to be similar to the actual time for water and wastewater disinfection today, which takes about 20-30 minutes.

The equipment used for this experiment is designed to produce micro bubbles with various sizes of 30-90 mm at high pressure. A device creating micro bubbles and pressure shield is placed inside the equipment to distribute input water flow into micro bubbles. At the same time, CO2 is dissolved at a high degree inside the equipment. Initial temperature of the water flow can be customized according to the experimental conditions and a heat exchanger is used outside to keep the experimental temperature stable. For this reason, Dr. Vo Thanh Huy wants to apply the success of high pressurized CO2 in inhibiting microorganisms in food to the water treatment, typically the stage of water and wastewater disinfection. This solution is absolutely feasible and effective for treatment and can replace traditional disinfection methods.

 

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Dr. Vo Thanh Huy (the second person to the left), Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Ngoc Anh in his receipt of 2014 Youth Science and Technology Golden Globe Award – (Picture provided by Dr. Vo Thanh Huy)

Talking about the socio-economic efficiency, Dr. Vo Thanh Huy said "This solution contributes to the development of a new water and wastewater disinfection technology that minimizes risks to water users’ health. Therefore, the research solution of using pressurized CO2 to disinfect water will open a new field that can replace traditional sterilization methods without the risk of creating toxic disinfection by-products as mentioned above and at reasonable costs as compared to that of other methods.

Moreover, the nature of this solution is using CO2, a greenhouse gas, which takes advantage of industrial CO2, instead of emitting it to the atmosphere to be developed into a substance that can process water and wastewater infected with pathogenic microorganisms. This is the biggest benefit of this solution to the society".

Dr. Vo Thanh Huy is currently most concerned about the limitation of facilities and equipment for scientific research in Phu Yen province, which makes it difficult to "elevate" his projects to a higher level. At the present, he is working with the Japanese Professor, Tsuyoshi Imai in writing a book on water disinfection. The young Doctor is nurturing his intention of study on the environment of Phu Yen, marine pollution and improvement of water in shrimp ponds. Dr. Huy confided that "During the time of study in Japan I have accumulated a lot of valuable lessons including one on constant innovation. I want to light up the passion for creativity and scientific research in the field of environment in students with a view to finding useful solutions to serve the country".

 

Author: Huynh Duc The
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