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Research & Development Without Borders

SONOELECTRICITY to Remove Persistent Organic Pollutants

RDWB collaborating with the University of Glasgow, National University of Malaysia and MESH Power Rwanda to pilot the use of novel technology of SONOOELECTRICITY to remove persistent organic pollutants from water

Many countries suffer from the presence of persistent organic pollutants in their water supplies. This project brings together teams from the UK, Malaysia, Cameroon and Rwanda to develop a new system for the degradation of persistent organic pollutants in water.

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are organic (carbon-based) compounds that include synthesized substances (pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls) and other by-product substances generated as a result of human and natural activity. Scientific studies have shown that POPs are some of the most dangerous pollutants, as a result, public concern about contamination by POPs has increased recently because several of these compounds are identified as hormone disruptors, which can alter the normal function of endocrine and reproductive systems in humans and wildlife. The novel technology called “sonoelectricity” discovered by the Mark Symes Group at the University of Glasgow will be carrying out trials in Malaysia and Cameroon to improve water treatment systems. Experimental results showed that ultrasonication has the potential to reduce the high concentrations of these POPs.

The Dioxins and Furans releases and emissions (2013 Toolkit), showed that nine categories of emission sources of dioxins/furans exist in Cameroon, contributing to a total release of 256 gTEQ/year.

Research and Development Without Borders (RDWB) have identified sources of unintended emission of POPS in the country, they include: a) savanna and forest fires, b) incineration of medical waste, c) fires of dumps, d) uncontrolled combustion of domestic waste and agricultural residues.

A survey will be conducted in areas where POPs are mostly found that is; industrial zone

(Douala) and Agricultural areas in Cameroon (Foumbot, Santa, Bangate, Bafoussam, Bamenda).

The objectives will be to:

  • Provide proof-of-concept studies for a new method of degrading dissolved organic pollutants for water remediation in the developing world.
  • Scope out the prospects for deployment of devices using this technology in the communities that they serve in Cameroon.

The project will see the deployment of a novel technology which will help water actors to remove POPs from water sources around the country.

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