The School has long been recognised for research in Environmental Technology and Management. This work has been characterised by multi-disciplinary studies involving collaboration with other Departments (including Biological Sciences, Geography, Architecture and Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences) as these interfaces often provide the most exciting areas of research.
The Environmental Technology Research Group (ETRG) is a multi disciplinary group which includes engineers, microbiologists and chemists. It was one of the pioneers in establishing Constructed Wetlands - a viable treatment technology for use in the UK and overseas. The interest in the use of ecological systems for environmental remediation has extended to the study of Sustainable Drainage (SUDs) and phytoremediation. The Group also investigates wastewater issues such as fats, oil and grease in sewers and the fate. The scope of the work has extended into other areas such as rain water harvesting and sediment dynamics as new staff have joined the School.
The Group has modern chemistry and microbiology laboratories at Portsmouth and at the Centre for Environmental Technology (CET) at Petersfield Sewage Works which is a shared facility with the School of Biological Sciences. The CET has a greenhouse and hard standing for experimental rigs. It also has pumped supply from various stages of the sewage works allowing full scale testing of pilot plant facilities. The ETRG also has a dedicated GC-MS and access to other analytical facilities such as ICP-MS, LC-MS and molecular biology laboratories.
The work of the Environmental Technology and Management Research Group is diverse, interdisciplinary and often undertaken in collaboration with colleagues in geography, architecture, biological, pharmacy and biomedical sciences.
Our environmental technology researchers work in the areas of constructed wetlands, sustainable drainage, waste water processing and rain water harvesting.
Our environmental management research projects span ecotourism, sustainability appraisal and coastal zone management.
Previous research projects
Investigations into Sustainable Drainage Systems
The Environmental Technology Research Group (ETRG) has been involved in SUDs research for many years following on from studies into using ponds and wetland plants for wastewater treatment.
The detention ponds on the A34 Newbury Bypass were monitored for 5-years after the road opened, in collaboration with Mott McDonald and the Highways Agency. More recently the Group has been active in investigating the application of SUDs for housing developments and has revisited the A34 sites to assess the long term build up of pollutants.
Fate of Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater Processing
Waste water processing is a potential pathway for pharmaceuticals to enter aquatic ecosystems or return to the agricultural food chain. The insidious impact of these xenobiotic compounds poses a major environmental hazard. The Environmental Technology Research Group (ETRG) have previously examined the fate of plasticiser phthalates in waste waters and this has extended into considering the fate of pharmaceuticals.
Currently the ETRG has EPSRC and BBSRC (based in Biological Sciences) Industrial CASE PhD students working with Astra Zeneca to examine the fate of common pharmaceuticals in Biological Nutrient Removal Wastewater Process and anaerobic sludge treatment followed by agricultural land disposal.
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