Student project that could cut chemical use at waste water treatment plants

Published: 10 May 2019

A team of Sussex students are working with Southern Water on an innovative project that could result in a reduction in the amount of chemicals used at waste water treatment works.

The four students from Hurstpierpoint College, Matthew Bridger, Olivia Hampshire, George Rodriguez and Isabella Shepard originally developed the project “Coagulation and Flocculation” as part of the Engineering Education Scheme (EES), which enables Year 12 students to gain practical workplace skills during a six-month project with a local business.

Along with their teacher Amanda Jayne and their Southern Water mentor Chifai Tang, the team was tasked with improving coagulation and flocculation in waste water treatment and spent over 100 hours each researching, designing and testing possible solutions.

They discovered an organic biodegradable compound called Chitosan that could replace the currently-used iron-based compound and designed and tested static mixers that could be used at treatment sites to improve the mixing of compounds and reduce the amount of chemicals needed.

Southern Water has expressed an interest in knowing more about Chitosan and the students are continuing with their testing.

This year’s EESCelebration and Assessment Day, which was held at the University of Brighton, saw five Sussex teams present their projects, with the Innovation Award being presented to Hurstpierpoint College. Other teams presenting their projects were Bexhill College, who worked with General Dynamics, BHASVIC, who worked with Mott MacDonald, Oriel High School, who worked with L3, and St Richard’s Catholic College, whose partners were Photek.

Visit our EES information page to find out more about this great scheme for Year 12 students.

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