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SFI National Challenge Fund: Methane Biofilter – biofiltration of methane generated from on-site wastewater treatment systems.

15 February 2023

In a follow-up to our SFI National Challenge Fund news, we would like to highlight the work of Dr Muhammad Ali and Prof. Laurence Gill. These researchers at Trinity College Dublin's School of Engineering, have been awarded a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) National Climate Challenge Fund award for their innovative project aimed at reducing methane emissions in on-site wastewater treatment systems.

The project focuses on the development of a biofilter that uses a unique combination of bacteria and activated carbon to convert methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into carbon dioxide, which is less harmful to the environment. The biofilter can be easily integrated into existing on-site wastewater treatment systems, making it a practical and effective solution for reducing methane emissions.

Wastewater treatment facilities are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, with methane being a particularly potent and harmful greenhouse gas. By reducing methane emissions from these facilities, the team hopes to significantly reduce their carbon footprint.

Dr Muhammad Ali expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating:

“We are thrilled to receive this funding from Science Foundation Ireland, which will enable us to develop a new and innovative approach to wastewater treatment. By reducing methane emissions, we can help to address the urgent challenge of climate change while also improving the efficiency and effectiveness of wastewater treatment systems.”

The project is expected to run for one and a half years, and the team hopes that their work will lead to the widespread adoption of methane biofilters in wastewater treatment systems worldwide.

The award from SFI is a recognition of the important role that research and innovation can play in addressing the urgent challenge of climate change. With projects like this, researchers are taking an active role in developing practical and effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.


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