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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Jonathan Ho

Critical Review, Analysis & Integration of Halophilic Bacteria on Modern Water Infrastructures
Conventional biological treatment systems are known to be inadequate for the removal of pollutants from saline wastewater water. The use of halophilic microorganisms, which are salt loving and capable of surviving in a hypersaline
environment, for biological wastewater treatment systems could be a solution for more efficient waste removal from saline wastewaters. This research reviewed and identified halophilic bacteria that would be suitable for treatment systems and facilitate saline wastewater treatment processes.
A list of candidate halophilic bacteria was compiled based on their physical characteristics and substrate requirements. The list covers a range of operative conditions (e.g. salinity, temperature and acidity). Models are set up to represent the kinetics of specific bacteria and thus allow the computation of maximum growth rate of biomass under given conditions. An activated sludge wastewater treatment plant was modelled, consisting of a complete mixed reactor and secondary clarifier, to allow the integration of halophilic bacteria into conventional wastewater treatment system. Operational parameters such as SRT, HRT, substrate requirements, maximal biomass growth rate and recycle rates were examined.
Although research attempts have been made to apply halophilic bacteria in treating saline sewage, this project takes a completely new approach which develops a framework concentrating on the application of halophiles in an engineering context.
There is yet to be a comprehensive outline that provides a standardized method in saline WWTP design in literature. This project proposes a novel foundation that can help to analyze and tackle the problems within this research field.