Assistant Professor Chul Park of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was recently awarded a 2010 Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) Technology Development Award from the University of Massachusetts President's Office. Dr. Park will receive $25,000 to develop his patent-pending technology entitled, "A New Sludge and Nutrient Reduction Method for Wastewater Treatment."
Sludge is naturally generated during biological wastewater treatment. According to Dr. Park, the handling and removal of sludge poses one of the biggest financial and operational challenges to wastewater treatment plants. Additionally, regulations on nutrients from wastewater treatment plants (nitrogen and phosphorus) have increased the demand for innovative approaches to wastewater treatment.
Park's technology has been shown to allow for both sludge and nutrient reduction using a unique bioreactor configuration. This technology promises to greatly reduce the cost of sludge treatment through a reduction in sludge generation and an overall simplification of reactor design for biological nutrient removal.
The CVIP Award will allow Dr. Park and his research group to continue their work on this technology in a controlled lab reactor and even test the configuration in a real wastewater treatment plant.
The CVIP Technology Development Fund was established by the President's Office to provide UMass researchers with supplemental funding to advance previously disclosed university technologies toward commercialization. The award assists researchers with "closing the gap between research discovery and proven technology." (April 2010)