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Friday 20 Jan 2017Sex, Drugs and Water Quality

Rachael Gommes -

Harrison Building, HAR170 14:00-15:00


As water consumers we each interact with the water cycle and rely on it to provide quality water to meet our needs. My research interests lie in how we affect this urban water cycle, with a focus on bioactive pollutants in wastewater treatment and related environments. Engineering plays a vital role in protecting this water cycle, designing and evaluating treatment processes that act as a gatekeeper to clean up our used water so it is fit for reuse. However the wastewater treatment process was never designed to address emerging challenges including pharmaceutical drugs, sex steroid hormones, and antimicrobial resistant microorganisms in our water. What are the drivers to investigate these emerging pollutants in our water? How do we affect this urban water cycle and treatment processes? What is the role of pollutants metabolites and enzymes? What engineering solutions are being developed to address these emerging water challenges?


Rachel Gomes is an Associate Professor in Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nottingham. Her research interests are in process efficiency and resource resilience within wastewater treatment, water reuse and process manufacturing of waste/biomass feedstocks. With a focus on water quality and chemicals, this covers analytics, fate, process technologies and the need for understanding bioprocess complexity when evaluating or developing a process that delivers a product - whether processing wastewater fit for reuse or chemicals to a required specification. Evolving water reuse practices have extended her research to agriculture and food security, including wastewater irrigation and pollutants as co-selection drivers for antimicrobial resistance in dairy wastewaters.

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