Environment science and water treatment have always been one of VGU’s essential directions in research. Therefore, we encourage not only the research staff and lecturers but also our students to participate in. One of our latest projects on the subject matter comes from one from Mechanical Engineering program, but with the passion for the environment and a new approach to water treatment solution, he had successfully created the textile wastewater treatment block with the electrochemical method.

1. Textile water treatment – the old-new story

Water treatment is used to call any process that improves the quality of water, could be for drinking, industrial usages, river flow conservation, or irrigation. Water treatment removes contaminants and undesirable components or reduces their concentration so that the water becomes fit for its desired end-use. Each purpose requires a different level of purification and specific water treatment methods.

Textile wastewater is highly polluted, characterized by high colorization as well as high Chemical and Biological Oxygen Demands (COD and BOD, respectively). For long, this is one of the industries that pose a dire threat to the environment if the water treatment is not operating per standard. The blooming of the fast fashion market surely did not help since clothes and garments are used at a more rapid pace nowadays. Currently, the primary and typical water treatment process is via biological agents. While it is a tried-and-true water treatment methods, the system is bulky, requiring a large amount of upfront capital to set up.

2. Electrochemical – a new method for water treatment in the textile industry

In March 2019, Mechanical Engineer student Tran Le Hoang, supervised by Dr. Tran Le Luu (Master Program in Water Technology, Reuse & Management), successfully defended the project on building a textile water treatment systems block with the electrochemical method. Recently, the research paper on this project has been accepted by the international scientific journal “Desalination and Water treatment” (ISI indexed, Q2, Officially Journal of European Desalination Society).

Electrochemical, using the interaction between electrical current and chemicals to run its reactions, is a new and relatively untested water treatment methods. However, within this project, it has shown its promises: being a simple system, easy to set up and to run. After five hours, practically all colors have been removed, with values of COD and BOD all fall within acceptable limits in Vietnamese Discharge for Wastewater. Despite being made on a small pilot scale, the water treatment systems only have a similarity in operational cost compared to a full-scale operating system using biological agents.


Textile water treatment systems block with the electrochemical method

3. The future of water treatment is promising

More and more research and project on water treatment have been developed lately as a direct response to the disastrous state of our environment right now. A new approach like Tran Le Hoang’s project is indeed the needle in the haystack the industry is waiting for. With the joint efforts of scientists and industries, there is hope that the water problem will be solved in the near future.

As a research-oriented university, VGU always cares about projects that affect the pressing issues in the world. Environment, water treatment, and climate change applications are one of the school’s main research directions. The Water Environmental Technology Labs at VGU is a modern and high-end lab in the field. Aim to present the students with new areas and methods of sustainable urban drainage, water supply, water treatment, and urban water management. The lab is accessible for the learning and scientific research of WTE students, provide them the exposure to the latest tech. With this strength in facilities, along with the support from our experienced lecturers, it is expectant that more researches on this water treatment topic will be carried out shortly, preferably by VGU students.

Reference: Tran Le Hoang, Tran Le Luu (2020) Fabrication of textile wastewater treatment block unit using the electrochemical method, Desalination and Water treatment, Accepted Manuscript.

VGU offers the 4-semester master’s program of Water Technology, Reuse, and Management (WTE) in associate with TU Darmstadt. Graduates will learn to define and describe the challenges of water treatment, water reuse, and water management of fast-growing cities and rural areas in a wide range. They know methods and processes which could be able to solve such problems as well as their advantages and disadvantages. The graduates can decide which methods and procedures have to be used to solve a particular problem, and they are also able to use such methods and processes in practice. Finally, they get the knowledge to adapt known methods and processes to develop new techniques and procedures to solve new problems in the future.

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