Abstract: The nationwide demand for wastewater treatment is expected to grow by 25% in the next decade alone. With nearly 15,000 existing wastewater treatment systems, there is over $271B investment need for maintaining the nation’s wastewater and stormwater infrastructure over the next 20 years. It is important to ensure that this level of investment is inherently profitable and a major contributor to the evolving economies. On the other hand, the major issues with the current wastewater infrastructure are the infrastructure age, inefficient treatment configurations, and aging workforce. New investment opportunities can be tailored towards adopting more energy-yielding, resource-efficient and productive treatment schemes, which will naturally replace the existing inefficient treatment systems.
This presentation will highlight two major routes for developing more sustainable and circular economy-based wastewater treatment systems. These are based on the well-known principles of anaerobic digestion and the bioelectrochemical synergy of wastewater microorganisms. In particular, we will examine the potential of enhanced carbon capture, codigestion of various organic waste streams and integrated anaerobic and bioelectrochemical systems toward developing these productive treatment systems. The presentation will also discuss the present and future water infrastructure needs and will highlight the role of education in preparing the future water workforce.
Biography: Dr. Veera Gnaneswar Gude is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and NiSource-Meyer Charitable Foundation Endowed Professor in the department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Purdue University Northwest. Dr. Gude is also the director of Purdue University Northwest Water Institute (PWI). Prior to this, He was a tenured full Professor and the holder of Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Endowed Chair in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Mississippi State University. Dr. Gude obtained his Ph.D., in Environmental Engineering from New Mexico State University, M.S., in Environmental Engineering from the National University of Singapore and a B.S., in Chemical Engineering Technology from Osmania University. His research interests include energy, water and environment nexus, resource recovery from wastewater and sustainable energy systems development. His research efforts received funding from federal agencies such as NSF, USEPA, USGS and USDA and other industry and international agencies. Prof. Gude published over 150 scientific research articles and 8 books on desalination, wastewater treatment and bioenergy research.
This webinar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois' Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.