Graduate Student Yanhong Bian Wins Graduate/Postdoc Gold Poster Award at Princeton Research Day

Monday, May 13, 2019
by Jane Soohoo

The department is proud to announce that Graduate Student Yanhong Bian won the graduate/postdoc Gold Poster Award at Princeton Research Day held on Thursday, May 9, 2019.  She won for her presentation titled "Nutrients Removal and Recovery in Wastewater by Using Electrochemical Technology".  Her advisor is Professor Zhiyong (Jason) Ren.

Princeton Research Day is an opportunity for undergraduate students, grad students, postdocs, and non-faculty researchers at Princeton University to share their work with the community.  It is a collaborative initiative between the offices of the Dean of the College, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of the Graduate School and the Dean for Research, with support from the Office of the Provost.

Here is an abstract of her poster:

Municipal wastewater contains a significant amount of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients, which are main pollutants causing the environmental problem eutrophication. However, nitrogen and phosphorus are also valuable fertilizers for agricultural applications. Removing and recovering nutrients in wastewater can mitigate challenges of both environmental systems and fertilizer demands while improving water quality. Traditional wastewater treatment plants use biological technology to remove nutrients, a process that is very complex and energy intensive. Electrochemical processes carry good potential to remove and recover nutrients in wastewater because the main species of nutrients such as ammonium and phosphates are all charged ions. Any charged ion species can be adsorbed by the electric double layer on the surface of carbon electrodes, which can be released and concentrated via regeneration. 

This study aims to provide a new alternative nutrient removal and recovery solution for distributed water systems by using electrochemical methods. I have constructed a flow-electrode capacitive deionization cell and investigated its feasibility to concurrently remove and recover nutrient ions and salts in wastewater. The performances were enhanced by optimizing the operation mode and related parameters.

Congratulations to Yanhong!