Innovative technology solutions to address challenges at the water-energy-food interface

Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil


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Committees and Topics

The LET 2017 took place in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil and covered 8 programme topics:   Resource recovery;Technologies for control of micropollutants and pathogens of emerging concern; Advanced anaerobic technologies; Advanced  treatment materials and multifunctional membranes; Applying advanced microbiology/genetics tools; Innovative biofilm and granular processes;Green-blue-infrastructure to enhance urban water management.

Chaired by:
Carlos Chernicharo,Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering Federal University of Minas Gerais Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais (Brazil)
Prof. Juan M. Lema, Department of Chemical Engineering . University of Santiago de  Compostela (Spain)

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a very powerful technology not only for efficient waste and wastewater treatment but also for resource recovery. The session will address several topics:  Integration of Anaerobic Digestion units with novel technologies such as annamox-based reactors, Bioelectrochemical systems, or Pre-concentration strategies using physico-chemical or biological units; Processes considering the use of combined C/N/S cycles; Efficient AD reactors with enhanced biomass retention; Technologies for recovery or abatement of methane from effluents to reduce environmental impacts, namely in municipal wastewater plants; and Upgrading of biogas to biomethane to facilitate energy recovery.

Chaired by:
Prof. Pedro Alvarez,NSF ERC on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Rice University (USA)
Wei Chen, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University (China)

Novel materials are making significant improvements in the way we treat water, wastewater and solid waste. Nanotechnology utilizes materials at the nanometer scale, whose unique properties enable novel functions. It has been actively pursued for various applications in water and wastewater treatment including adsorption, catalysis, membrane separation and sensing. In addition, advances in membrane materials continue to bring innovation in membrane processes, whose application is becoming increasingly common in water and wastewater treatment systems of different scales. This session will address the development and application of such advanced materials to enable a paradigm shift of treatment from the current chemical and energy intensive processes to high efficiency, physical and catalytic processes that minimize chemical and energy use as well as waste production

Chaired by:
Prof. Tom Curtis,Newcastle University (UK)
Prof. Trina McMahon,University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering (USA)

Microorganisms are key features of water and wastewater systems. Great advances have been made in the application of molecular tools to detect specific organisms and to disentangle how microbial communities assemble and interact. This session will feature outstanding examples of modern tools and approaches while emphasizing how they can be used to understand, predict, and control engineered microbial ecosystems.  Examples of such tools and approaches include the application of next-generation sequencing for metagenomic or metatranscriptomic analyses, powerful microscopy methods combined with stable isotope labeling, and metabolic flux modeling.  Systems of interest include drinking water treatment systems, drinking water distribution systems, wastewater treatment systems, resource recovery systems, and aquaculture systems.

Chaired by:
Prof. Nilo de Oliveira Nascimento,Department of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil)
Prof. Wolfgang Rauch,Inst. of Infrastructure Engineering – University Innsbruck (Austria)

Blue-green infrastructure refers to approaches to integrate planning and management of urban space with water infrastructure. Such blue-green networks are multi-objective territorial structures aiming to promote biodiversity, reduce natural risks and their impacts, and create opportunities for leisure and sport activities, social cohesion and income generation, among other functions. This session will address challenges and opportunities arising from such integrated approach, and share experiences of first implementations – especially in (but not limited to) the context of South American metropolitan areas.

Chaired by:
Rejane Costa (Brazil)
Mark van Loosdrecht, Environmental Biotechnology,TU-Delft(The Netherlands)

Novel biofilm processes (e.g. MBBR, MABR) and aerobic, anammox and anaerobic granular sludge processes are under development or implementation, all leading to significant redu8ction of footprint and energy usage. This session aims to create an overview of the process engineering developments of such processes, and illustrate this array of innovative technologies.

Chaired by:
Prof Jurg Keller,  CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and Advanced Water Management Centre (Australia)
Doulaye Kone,Global Development  Gaters Foundation (USA)

Given the major challenges of implementing large-scale centralised technology solutions in many developing areas worldwide, particularly in the fast growing mega-cities, the need for novel, small-scale and/or decentralised technologies is clearly growing. This session specifically looks for such innovative ideas and solutions that can be applied from single-household to neighbourhood or precinct scales, for both safe water supply and sanitation systems. Also, examples of innovative non-sewered sanitation systems and solutions that may combine decentralised technology innovations within (partly) centralised systems will be explored.

Chaired by:
Prof. Bruce Rittman, Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology (USA)
Prof. Marcelo Zaiat,Universidade de São Paulo – USP (Brazil)

Wastewater can become a source of value and economic gain if its treatment is re-oriented to emphasize the recovery of water, energy, nutrients, and, in some cases, other materials.  This session focuses on emerging processes and systems of processes whose primary goal is recovering the resources present in “used water”.  Examples include direct anaerobic treatment to give a net energy output, nitrogen and phosphorus separation and concentration to provide high-value fertilizer feedstock, water reclamation for beneficial use, and recovery of other materials, such as metals and fiber.

Chaired by:
Prof. Marcia Dezotti, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Amy Pruden, W. Thomas Rice Professor (USA)

Water quality is threatened by chemical micro-pollutants of emerging concern, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, or endocrine disruptors, and  emerging pathogenic microorganisms, including chlorine- and UV-resistant viruses and protozoa, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Although there is still a lack of quantitative data on their effects on ecological and physiological processes, especially on human health, the detection of those contaminants in natural waters and wastewater treatment plant effluents raises concerns about the efficiency of current treatment processes. This session focusses on innovative technologies for the control of emerging contaminants in water and wastewater.



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