Our Scotland GCRF team were over the moon to host Prof Callum McPhearson and two of his colleagues from Grenada’s St George’s University last month.
After almost two years of online-only meetings, it was a joy to meet in person and not only discuss our collaboration but also enjoy some walks around Edinburgh. Thankfully, the SGU team brought some Caribbean sunshine to Scotland too!
We were thrilled to take the SGU team to our partner site at Dryden Aqua, where we were able to visit Scotland’s largest glass recycling facility and understand how they manufacture world leading water filtration media from 40,000 tonnes of waste glass every year.
The SGU team were blown away by the scale of the operation at the factory and impressed by the precision engineering that goes into making the AFM. We were shown round the factory by the Chief Technical Officer Matthew Dryden who, in addition to the factory tour, showed the team the laboratories and explained how the AFM is used in different filtration systems and applications to treat water across the world.
The CAFE system, designed by our team at Clean Water Wave and which uses the AFM media, was demonstrated to the SGU team. The system, which makes use of the superb performance of AFM and enables it to be used in a filtration system that is high performance but extremely low energy, can be deployed to great effect in any situation where electricity may be a problem or where there is a need to reuse and recycle water.
We showcased the adaptability of the system and how we could use CAFE for drinking water purposes as well as for wastewater treatment. Our aim is always to ensure we improve the environment and to use a circular economy approach, so that the wastewater can be recycled or discharged safely into the environment. We demonstrated our research that shows CAFE’s performance for reducing micro-plastics, pharma, or forever-chemicals that we commonly find in wastewater and which have such severe impact on the environment.
We were also able to discuss our collaboration and plan for a joint project in Grenada, where the proposition is to use the CAFE system to treat wastewater from a site that currently has issues with wastewater spilling into local farms and communities.
The farmers that work with SGU’s researchers are struggling with water supply and struggle with irrigation during the dry season. Climate change impacts mean the dry season is getting longer and the rains less predictable, so the idea with our collaboration is to use the constant wastewater stream and treat it so that it can be used for irrigation all year round.
We will keep you posted on the progress of our collaboration on all our social media pages and of course through our GCRF One Health networks.
It was such a pleasure to meet ‘in real life’ and we hope that we can continue the superb networks that have been fostered by the GCRF One Health team beyond the duration of our funded project.
Our network has enabled us to not only meet people that we would otherwise not have had the pleasure of meeting, but most importantly has connected researchers, communities and innovators to show that there are sustainable, circular economy solutions to issues with soil and water pollution – a true co-creation for green, equitable future.