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Keynote 1

Speaker: Prof. Brajesh Kumar Dubey, IIT Kharagpur, India

Title of Presentation: "Circular Economy Approaches in Environmental Management to achieve UN SDGs"

Date: 15.12.2023

Time: 10:30 AM

Venue: P0-120-1, Lecture Hall Complex (LHC), IIT Bhubaneswar

Abstract: This keynote presentation aims to offer insights into how an approach centred on the circular economy (CE) in solid waste management (SWM) can contribute to achieving the targets outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs). The fundamental principles guiding the UN-SDGs, such as public health, environmental considerations, resource value,and economic development, align closely with the factors propelling the expansion of wastemanagement initiatives. Therefore, prioritizing a circular economy framework in the post-COVID economic agenda is crucial for meeting UN-SDG objectives. Nevertheless, challenges in policy, technology, and public engagement may impede the transition to the CE model. Addressing these hurdles could involve fostering niche growth through the development of distinct waste management-driven green jobs, formalizing the role of informal waste pickers, and focusing on education and training for informal workers. The presentation will underscore the importance of creating green jobs by investing in recycling infrastructure to tackle climate change concerns, a key focus of the UN-SDGs. CE-based product designs and business models will promote multifunctional goods, prolonging product and component lifespans, and intelligent manufacturing to enable both public and private sectors to maximize product utility, thereby reducing waste generation and offering long-term economic and environmental advantages. The study also advocates for robust policies that prioritize investments in decentralizing solid waste systems, localizing supply chains, promoting recycling and green recovery, facilitating information sharing, and fostering
international collaboration to effectively realize the UN-SDGs.

Keynote 2

Speaker: Prof. M. M. Ghangrekar, IIT Kharagpur, India

Title of Presentation: "Exploring biological and bio-electrochemical technologies for imparting sustainability to wastewater treatment"

Date: 15.12.2023

Time: 11:15 AM

Venue: P0-120-1, Lecture Hall Complex (LHC), IIT Bhubaneswar

Abstract: Growing scarcity of fresh water reserves and ever-increasing demand for water have led to a condition where the option of reuse of treated wastewater need to be encouraged. Innovative wastewater treatment plants aiming not only at treating the wastewater, but also providing benefits, such as facilitating reuse of treated water, resources or nutrient recovery, are the need of the day. Conventional sewage treatment either require huge land or high capital, maintenance and operational costs, and/or huge energy requirements; which make them unsuitable for use in developing countries. Energy efficient low-cost wastewater treatment systems are the best choice for such countries. Anaerobic treatment systems excel in such respect. A pilot-scale (400 m3/day) up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket-moving bed biofilm (UASB-MBB) reactor followed by a high-rate algal pond (HRAP) was designed, constructed and operated to remove organic matter, nutrients and pathogens from low strength sewage (chemical oxygen demand, COD, of about 230 mg/L) generated on campus. This UASB reactor demonstrated annual average total COD removal efficiency of 63 ± 8% and total suspended solids (TSS) removal of 86 ± 7%. The HRAP following UASB reactor demonstrated nitrogen removal of 85 ± 3%, phosphate removal of 91 ± 1% and up to 3 log coliform reduction, thus producing treated effluent suitable for horticulture reuse. Biomass granulation has been achieved in the UASB reactor, which has not been reported earlier anywhere while treating such low strength sewage, which was possible due to proper hydrodynamic design. Also, life cycle costing of the installed 300 m3/day and 1350 m3/day sewage treatment plants comprising of moving bed biofilm reactor and tertiary treatment combinations will be presented.

Keynote 3

Speaker: Prof. Mukesh Khare, IIT Delhi, India

Title of Presentation: "Recasting Air Quality Management in India"

Date: 15.12.2023

Time: 2:30 PM

Venue: P0-120-1, Lecture Hall Complex (LHC), IIT Bhubaneswar

Abstract: Air pollution stands as a significant global challenge. Enhancing the quality of the air we breathe has become a paramount societal goal. Exposure to poor air quality remains a primary cause of respiratory and cardiovascular ailments among vulnerable communities. Urban areas are rapidly expanding in diverse ways, leading to concerning spikes in pollutant levels, particularly in swiftly urbanizing regions.

The Urban Air Quality Management (UAQM) framework outlines a series of measures aimed at achieving specific air quality objectives in defined geographical areas. This requires collaborative efforts from governmental bodies, businesses, industries, NGOs, and the public. However, executing action plans based on this framework faces obstacles due to insufficient coordination among administrative institutions within the existing air quality governance system. Presently, air quality policies are crafted at the national level and then relayed to state-level departments for dissemination, eventually reaching state pollution control boards for implementation. However, this approach heavily favours the state pollution control boards and lacks integration with district or local bodies. The divide between national, state, and district/local authorities in terms of legal responsibilities, operational scale, monitoring, and enforcement hampers the effective implementation of air quality policies, resulting in heightened negative impacts on human health. Revamping the air quality governance structure is crucial. It should prioritize managing sources at the lowest administrative levels, like municipalities, to efficiently target resources according to local conditions. Local authorities, armed with community insight through participatory approaches, should drive the shaping and execution of policies addressing pollutant exceedances. National-level policies should tackle broad issues such as vehicle fuel quality, engine technology, and combustion emissions, while empowering local authorities with the responsibility of implementing action plans to improve ambient air quality and continuously assess present and future air quality in their respective regions. Moreover, local authorities should designate Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA or hotspots) and devise action plans that complement national efforts.

Keynote 4

Speaker: Prof. Krishna R. Reddy, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

Title of Presentation: "Innovative Cover System for Zero Emissions at Landfills"

Date: 15.12.2023

Time: 4:30 PM

Venue: P0-120-1, Lecture Hall Complex (LHC), IIT Bhubaneswar

Abstract: Fugitive methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions from landfill surfaces that are not targeted by landfill gas (LFG) collection systems escape into the atmosphere and cause detrimental impacts on public health and the environment. Alternate cover systems such as biocovers have emerged as a low-cost alternative to mitigate these fugitive emissions. Biochar, a highly porous material derived from gasification of biomass such as waste wood, has shown to be an effective biocover material that enhances microbial oxidation of CH4 to CO2 thereby mitigating the CH4 emissions to the atmosphere. However, the problem of LFG emissions still remains unsolved due to the impending emissions of CO2 and H2S into the atmosphere. Steel slag, a byproduct from steel making industries, has shown promising potential to mineralize CO2 to stable carbonates and H2S to stable sulfides due to its high alkalinity and chemical composition. We are developing a cover system (called biogeochemical cover system) with an aim to achieve zero emissions from landfills by using steel slag in combination with biochar to mitigate the CH4, CO2 and H2S emissions at landfills. Moreover, such a cover system provides a commercial outlet for discarded steel slag fines, which currently have no established beneficial use. In this presentation, our research studies aimed to elucidate biogeochemical reactions associated with biochar and steel slag and to design an optimal biogeochemical cover system to achieve zero emissions from landfills will be described.


Keynote 5

Speaker: Prof. Selma Mededovic Thagard, Clarkson University, USA

Title of Presentation: "The future of water purification by electrical discharge plasmas"

Date: 16.12.2023

Time: 9:30 AM

Venue: P0-120-1, Lecture Hall Complex (LHC), IIT Bhubaneswar

Abstract: The use of electrical discharge plasma for treating contaminated water has been studied for over three decades. During that time, dozens of different reactor configurations have been demonstrated for the degradation of phenols, dyes, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and warfare agents, among other compounds. However, despite their ability to degrade and in some cases completely mineralize these compounds, very few bench-scale reactors have been upscaled to demonstration levels. One exception is the plasma-based treatment of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a notoriously toxic group of chemicals found in water of nearly 200 million. Americans, where the field-demonstrated process has been shown to be superior compared to existing electrically driven destructive techniques.
This talk attempts to position the current state of research on plasma-based water treatment in relation to the general needs of the water treatment industry. This is achieved by tying the fundamental processes occurring at plasma-liquid interfaces to the plasma reactor design, and discussing the challenges and advantages of the heterogeneous nature of multiphase plasma systems. The most promising future directions of plasma-based water treatment are also discussed.

Keynote 6

Speaker: Prof. Daniel D. Snow, University of Nebraska, Nebraska, USA

Title of Presentation: “Sustainable Reuse of Wastewater for Irrigation”

Date: 16.12.2023

Time: 10:15 AM

Venue: P0-120-1, Lecture Hall Complex (LHC), IIT Bhubaneswar

Abstract: Continued access to water of adequate quality is a fundamental tenet of the United Nations sustainabledevelopment goals. Irrigation is the largest single use of freshwater worldwide, yet except in areas of water scarcity, little progress has been made toward developing wastewater treatment technologies for irrigation. Discharge of municipal wastewater to streams continues to release traces of biologically active contaminants that impact use for aquatic organisms and human health. Irrigation with agricultural wastewater, while adding nutrients to crops also releases residues of veterinary pharmaceuticals and antibiotics with unknown implications for human and ecosystem health. While technologies exist for adequate treatment of municipal and agricultural wastewater to drinking water quality standards, it is quite expensive and unnecessary for irrigation uses. Demonstration of low-cost technologies supporting safe wastewater reuse for irrigation remains an elusive, but critically important constraint to achieve UN sustainable development goals.

Ajay Kalamdhad.jpg

Keynote 7

Speaker: Prof. Ajay S. Kalamadhad, IIT Guwahati, India

Title of Presentation: “Biogas Plants in India: Potential, Assessment, Challenges and Road ahead

Date: 16.12.2023

Time: 2:30 PM

Venue: P0-120-1, Lecture Hall Complex (LHC), IIT Bhubaneswar

Abstract: Conventional sources of energy like fossil fuels are available in limited quantities and harm environment. So, for sustainable growth, renewable energy is the only way forward. Biomass-based energy has untapped potential and is one of the most economical and best-proven options among the various alternative energy sources available.

To fully utilize the biomass, the estimation of the possible potential is much needed. A state-wise biomass database is valuable for localized bioenergy policy. However, in India, a state-level biomass resource database is inadequate. State-wise potential of biogas from various of sources including crop residues, livestock and poultry wastes, municipal solid wastes, and wastewater (sewage and industrial) was assessed. The overall estimated biogas potential from organic waste in India is 74.795 billion m3 /year. Currently, digesters with a generation capacity of 3.635 billion m 3 /year are achieved in India. This indicates the massive gap between the potential and its utilization. Even though biogas plants are assumed to be environment friendly but biogas' emission through leaks and intentional release is regular with poorly maintained digesters, which questions the environmental benefits it might have. The significance of biogas as a cooking fuel, electricity fuel and bio-CNG was assessed. The findings indicate the biogas production can reduce 20% of GWP from India's household cooking. Furthermore, it also demonstrates that electricity and bio-CNG from biogas emits less carbon equivalent (GHGs) along its value chain than alternative fuel. However, there are barriers (both technical and non-technical) in disseminating large-size biogas plants. Hence, different mitigation strategy needs to be formulated for the successful adoption of a large- scale biogas plant in India. Successful implementation of biogas plants will propel the development of bioenergy generation, while simultaneously tackling the pressing issues related to the management of waste.

Keynote 8

Speaker: Prof. Taavo Tenno, University of Tartu, Estonia

Title of Presentation: “Quaternary wastewater treatment – removal of POP and PFAS”

Date: 16.12.2023

Time: 3:15 PM

Venue: P0-120-1, Lecture Hall Complex (LHC), IIT Bhubaneswar

Abstract: The increasing global concern about persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment has led to the development of advanced wastewater treatment technologies, which can be integrated to the conventional wastewater treatment processes as quaternary treatment. This paper provides an overview of the quaternary treatment processes specifically tailored for the removal of PFAS and POPs from wastewater. Focus is given to the challenges of analysing and removing PFAS from wastewater. This paper delves into the complexities and advancements in quaternary wastewater treatment. The definition of POP and PFAS with the focus on the analytical challenges associated with pollutant characteristics and analytical issues. It highlights the difficulty in detecting and quantifying these substances owing to their diverse chemical structures and the presence of unknown precursors and transformation products. Following the analysis discussion, the removal technologies for PFAS in quaternary wastewater treatment are discussed. It provides an in-depth review of various advanced treatment methods, including granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption, ion exchange resins, and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). Examples from full size installations and full-size plants and challenges with pilot plants erected in the frame of EMPEREST project will be discussed.

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