On 29 April 2021, the IWA-YWP Canada hosted Dr. Pavani Cherukupally. Overall, 54 participants registered for the event and approx. 29 participants joined on the live session. For the first time, an appreciation certificate was presented to the guest speaker, Dr. Cherukupally. The participants (who wanted a participation certificate and responded in a google form during the live session) were also awarded with a participation certificate, for the first time. The recorded webinar is available here.
Wastewater is a complex mixture of organic, inorganic, and biological compounds. Due to increasing environmental standards, the use of separation materials and processes are gaining momentum. In her presentation, Dr. Cherukupally focused on the benefits of advanced characterization of separation materials used as adsorbent and membranes in wastewater treatment and how the scientific understanding from those characterizations can assist in solving complex industrial wastewater (e.g., oil spill and fracking wastewater) and natural water systems (e.g., groundwater and seawater filtration). She briefly discussed different characterization technique and example results through three case studies: (a) separating crude oil droplets from wastewater using surface engineered sponges, (b) sponge design for enhanced bacteria adhesion, and (c) macro-to-microscale visualization of fouling in reverse osmosis membrane active layer. Through these case studies, analyses of the interfacial chemistry of adsorbent and membrane surfaces by mass spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, surface wetting, X-ray tomography, etc. were presented to the participants. Each of these case studies were followed by Q&A sessions where Dr. Cherukupally clarified the analysis and decision-making steps in her research.