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Chance Discovery Has Big Implications for Clean Water
An accidental discovery made by CEE Assistant Professor Ameet Pinto and his group has revealed a type of bacteria capable of full nitrification. As part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) -funded Healthy Drinking Water project, their discovery could drastically reduce the amount of energy needed during wastewater treatment.
“The discovery of a single microorganism capable of full nitrification will have a significant impact on our understanding of the nitrogen cycle and on efforts to manage nitrogen pollution. The potential is there for the wastewater treatment sector to exploit this breakthrough, which other teams in Europe have made in parallel with the U.S. That would be an important step towards approaches in terms of cutting costs and reducing carbon emissions associated with generating the huge amounts of electricity that the sector uses”, Pinto said.