【Report】Report for Session 1 of the AJI International Symposium 2023: “Environmental Technologies Supporting Agriculture in Vietnam”
The Session 1 of the AJI International Symposium 2023, “Asia-Pacific Research Beyond Borders: Asian Societies Striving for Secure and Sustainable Life” was hosted by the Asia-Japan Research Institute, Ritsumeikan University, and co-hosted by the Institute of Sustainability Science and the Master's Program in Environmental Engineering, both at Vietnam-Japan University (Vietnam National University)
Moderator: Professor Jun NAKAJIMA (Director of Institute of Sustainability Science, Vietnam-Japan University)
Speakers / Titles:
Professor Satoshi SODA (College of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University):
“Evaluation of Tetracycline and Nutrient Removal Potential of Duckweeds in Lab-scale Cultivation for Swine Wastewater Treatment”
Dr. NGUYEN Thi An Hang (Lecturer, Master's Program in Environmental Engineering, Vietnam-Japan University):
“Valorization of Liquid Fraction from Hydrothermal Carbonization of Different Feedstocks: Potentials and Obstacles” Dr. NGUYEN Thi Thuong (Senior Researcher, Asia-Japan Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University):
“Heavy Metal Removal in Constructed Wetlands based on Recycling Clamshells” Associate Professor Keisuke SATO (College of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University)佐藤 圭輔 准教授（立命館大学 理工学部):
“Water Resource Management in the Thai Bihn (Cau) River Area, Vietnam”
Under the theme of “Environmental Engineering for Supporting Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries”, which was adopted by the Research Development Program of the Asia-Japan Research Institute in 2022 for the field of co-creation, this research project aims to develop sustainable environmental technology from three perspectives: water circulation, resource circulation, and food production to solve environmental problems related to agriculture, livestock, and fisheries in Vietnam. This session related to the above program was conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation in Japanese. A total of 102 participants (66 people from Japan, 22 from Vietnam, and 14 from other countries) from 10 countries and regions participated.
At the beginning of the session, the moderator, Professor Jun Nakajima, gave the opening remarks. He introduced the activities of Vietnam-Japan University which is a joint host of this session and the three features of this session: (1) the cooperative relationship between Ritsumeikan University and University of Vietnam-Japan, (2) the training of a next generation of researchers, the importance of the agricultural, livestock and water industries and environmental sustainability.
Professor Nakajima making opening remarks
First, Professor Satoshi Soda explained the importance of pig farming in Vietnam and the water pollution problems associated with it, and then, he introduced research cases concerning anaerobic biotreatment and the removal of organic matter and nutrients by the use of duckweed. Furthermore, he discussed the impact of antibiotics on duckweed, which are heavily utilized in the livestock industry and the pollution problems that are becoming apparent due to that.
Professor Soda delivering his presentation
Next, In Dr. Nguyen Thi An Hang’s presentation, she argued that Vietnam as an agricultural country has a wide variety of unused biomass including rice hulls, corn leaves and stalks, and food waste, and that hydrothermal carbonization technology is attracting attention as an effective use of these biomasses. Hydrothermal carbonization is a technology that can produce carbides and treated water at temperatures as low as about 200℃, even if the biomass contains a lot of moisture. She presented research cases about the production of methane gas, liquid fertilizers and biodiesel from the treated water and discussed its potential.
Dr. Nguyen Thi An Hang delivering her presentation
Thirdly, Dr. Nguyen Thi Thuong presented research cases about uses of clam shells as a substrate for a constructed wetland. Clams from Vietnam are famous and are exported all over the world. She found that their shells’ main component, calcium carbonate, is suitable for neutralizing acid mine wastewater, although presently shells are required to be disposed of as industrial waste. It is also suitable for growing plants, she argues, and can be used for removing metals from mine wastewater in Japan and Vietnam.
Dr. Nguyen Thi Thuong making her presentation
Lastly, Associate Professor Keisuke Sato gave a presentation on water resource management in the Thai Bihn River area, which flows through northern Vietnam. This area is filled with rice paddies and tea fields, and the balance of water supply and demand fluctuates as the rainy and dry seasons come. He presented a case of evaluating water stress and the water quality index through a simulation model, considering water problems in terms of both its quantity and quality.
Associate Professor Sato delivering his presentation
In the comprehensive discussion part of this session, the participants discussed the importance of environmental technologies to make the agriculture and livestock industry in Vietnam sustainable, as it has an influence on Japan and many other Asian countries. Also, in the survey conducted afterward, 95% of the respondents were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the content of this session, which is highly encouraging for continuing this research project for “Environmental Engineering for Supporting the Agriculture, Livestock, and Fishery Industry”.
Speakers in the comprehensive discussion