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Syeed Md Iskander

Virginia Tech, Ph.D.
EREF Scholar 2016

An Integrated Leachate Treatment System for Removing Contaminants and Recovering ResourcesProject Description:
Syeed’s research investigates bioelectrochemical landfill leachate treatment for resource recovery and contaminant removal. Currently, he is focusing on thermal hydrolysis, advanced oxidation, and enzymatic pretreatment of landfill leachate. The major goal of the pretreatment is to break down the organics and make them more bioavailable to anaerobic exoelectrogens in the microbial fuel cell. Another facet of this research is nutrient recovery from landfill leachate. Ammonia is the primary recoverable, reusable, nutrient in leachate. During bioelectrochemical treatment, ammonium ions move from the anode to the cathode chamber through a cation exchange membrane. In the cathode, at high pH (>9), ammonium is converted to ammonia gas that strips off due to aeration and can then be collected. The goal of this research is to determine the feasibility of larger scale applications of bioelectrochemical systems for ammonia recovery and compare them with conventional air stripping methods. He is also working on the application of sodium chloride draw solute to water recovery from leachate by forward osmosis (FO). By using different concentrations of draw solute and re-circulation rate, he is investigating the optimum conditions for high water flux, low reverse salt flux, minimal fouling, high organic selectivity, and lowest energy consumption by the system.

Conventional leachate treatment processes include leachate re-circulation for enhanced degradation and leachate treatment in a wastewater treatment plant. These processes do not produce energy or recover resources and are, thus, not sustainable. A necessary component of sustainable leachate treatment systems is resource recovery. Resource recovery combined with simultaneous contaminant removal would make leachate management considerably more cost effective and energy efficient.

Syeed Md Iskander is a second year Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Virginia Tech. He began his academic career at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), where he received a BS in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Environmental Engineering. After graduating with honors from BUET, heentered the MS program (Fall 2013) in Environmental Engineering at Washington State University (WSU). In December 2014, he earned his MS Degree. In August of the following year, he began his journey as a Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Virginia Tech.

In addition to his Ph.D. research, he is more broadly interested in the solid waste industry. To enhance his knowledge base, he participated in a Winter School at the University of Texas,Arlington jointly sponsored by the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) in January 2016. The Winter School was a two-week intensive training that taught elements of landfill design, operation, maintenance, leachate production and collection, biogas generation and collection, and composting. This training brought him into contact with scholars and practicing engineers from twenty two different countries. Recently, he was chosen for the 2016 Jaqueline Shields Memorial Scholarship offered by the Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA) and was recognized for this at the A&WMA conference held in June at New Orleans, Louisiana. He is an active member of the Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA), the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS), the young professionals group of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), and the American water works association (AWWA). He has become acquainted with prominent leaders in the field of solid waste management through his participation in these organizations. His passion for this field has grown stronger and his knowledge broader.

After earning his Ph.D., he plans to begin a career as a dedicated researcher and academician in the field of environmental engineering with a focus on advanced solid waste management. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

Iskander, S. M., Zou, S., Brazil, B., Novak, J. T., & He, Z. Energy consumption by forward osmosis treatment of landfill leachate for water recovery. Waste Management. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2017.03.026