Dr. Akram Alshawabkeh, PROTECT co-director and Project 5 leader, presented an invited plenary lecture at the 2014 International Conference on “Interfaces Against Pollution (IAP2014)”, held in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, May 26 – 28, 2014. Dr. Alshawabkeh described basics and principles of electrochemical methods for in situ treatment of contaminated soil and groundwater with a focus on solar-powered and sustainable implementation. He discussed recent findings from PROTECT’s Project 5 on electrochemically-induced reduction and electrochemically-induced chemical oxidation which achieved complete transformation of target contaminants including trichloroethene in groundwater. These mechanisms have the potential to significantly influence the US government’s efforts to close thousands of Superfund sites that significantly threaten public water supply systems. Dr. Alshawabkeh also described the holistic approach of the PROTECT Center to study environmental exposure to contamination, its impacts on preterm-birth in Puerto Rico and developing innovative strategies to address these problems.
The IAP conferences are international meetings that seek to provide a forum for researchers working in the interdisciplinary field of Environmental Science. This year’s conference, organized by the Wetsus Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, was focused on interfaces in water and environmental science. More than 250 researchers, industry partners and other stakeholders from around the world attended the conference.