【Report】The 51st AJI Frontier Seminar was held? : Dr. Nguyen Thi Thuong, “Use of Artificially Constructed Wetlands for Mine Drainage Treatment: A Lab-Scale Case Study Using Recycled Clamshells as the Substrate”
On January 10, 2023, the 51st AJI Research Frontier Seminar took place online. This time, Dr. Nguyen Thi Thuong, from Vietnam, a Senior Researcher at Asia-Japan Research Institute, Ritsumeikan University delivered a presentation entitled “Use of Artificially Constructed Wetlands for Mine Drainage Treatment: A Lab-Scale Case Study Using Recycled Clamshells as the Substrate.”
Dr. Nguyen explained that her research focusses on heavy metal removal from mine wastewater by using constructed wetlands. In Japan, there are over 7000 disused mines, and 100 of them are polluted with heavy metals. Mine wastewater with a high concentration of heavy metals and sulfate reduces water quality in aquifers and rivers, posing public health risks and threatening the natural habitat. This wastewater must be purified to meet strict effluent standards and prevent health risks. Present processes have employed coagulation and filtration processes using chemicals, costing billions of yen annually. Recently artificially constructed wetlands (CW) where a gravel substrate is used to filter the polluted water have been introduced as a green technology. Dr. Nguyen found that in lab-scale experiments, CWs filled with clamshells are highly effective for removing heavy metal from synthetic acid mine drainage. Therefore, the recycling seashells for wastewater decontamination is recommended and may be able to contribute to reducing solid waste in a simple, cheap, and eco-friendly way.
The audience appreciated importance of employing green technology for reducing threats to health and the environment, and there were several questions about the practicality of collecting and recycling sea shells, and the problems of dealing with run-off from extremely heavy rainfall in a country like Japan. Dr. Nguyen explained that the next step would be testing the practical application this process in the field. We wish her success in her project.
Dr. Nguyen delivering the presentation