Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
Contributing to the better management of our planet's water resources remains a major environmental challenge that needs to be met in order to ensure the sustainable development of our societies. The short supply of available reserves together with the degradation of the physico-chemical quality of surface and groundwater pose a significant risk to human beings and the environment, which can hamper the economic development of emerging countries.
M. Chiban's thesis fits into this context and examines how inert solid biomaterials remove the pollutants from urban waste water. Through a rigorous scientific approach and in partnership with European universities, M. Chiban has managed to demonstrate the strong adsorption capacities possessed by vegetable matter for various metal pollutants that are contained in high levels in the urban waste water and are potentially toxic to living organisms. This capacity to adsorb, studied in detail in both synthetic solutions and real effluent, opens up very interesting viewpoints in the field of waste water treatment. Furthermore, the wide availability of the raw material together with the simplicity of implementing this procedure are particularly relevant for developing countries where the resources set aside for environmental protection remain limited.
The results obtained, which have been published in several peer-reviewed articles and been the subject of several contributions to international conferences, bear witness to the high scientific standard of the research. This study is therefore a nice example of the innovations that development co-operation can bring.
report: Dr. F. Planchon, Geology Department, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium