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Research & industry partnerships in polar regions science
Industry participation in water and waste management projects in polar areas presents opportunities for improvement of treatment technologies in the broader global context. For this reason it is useful for industry to build strong partnerships with organisations involved in polar research.
Veolia is working with the University of Melbourne under a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on research into better water and waste treatment technologies. The first major project is currently focused on sites at Australia’s Casey Station, operated by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), in East Antarctica. This project aims to utilise low-energy biological processes, such as biofiltration, to remediate summer melt water contaminated with diesel-based hydrocarbons.
The collaboration between Veolia and the University of Melbourne leverages 15 years of Antarctic permeable reactive barrier (PRB) research into ion exchange/adsorption of inorganics and organics, as well as characterisation of biofilms on activated carbon. This has enabled the team to develop advanced analytical techniques for Antarctic research, and apply them to more conventional water treatment. Knowledge gained from analysis of carbon samples from Antarctic PRBs has been used to better understand the performance of large-scale biological activated carbon (BAC) filtration processes used in municipal water treatment.
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