News from within the SENSE network
It has long been known that humanity is exceeding planetary boundaries for nitrogen use. Scientists have now mapped those exceedances regionally for the first time. Whereas countries in north-western Europe and parts of India and China are emitting far too much nitrogen, there is actually room for intensification of nitrogen use across much of Africa and South America. The research was published today in the scientific journal Nature.
There’s a lot of buzz around citizen science for sustainability. Engaging scores of people who collect and share data to contribute to scientific projects is a popular method. But what’s the impact? That’s a question often ignored, or answered with assumptions and speculations. An IHE Delft-led paper that presents the first systematic review of how citizen science impact can be captured recently received an Honorable Mention Award from the journal Sustainability Science.
Professor Joyeeta Gupta wins the prize for her world leading contribution to solution focused climate research. The award is bestowed annually in the name of Piers Sellers, the former astronaut, climate scientist and Leeds alumnus, by the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds.
With his project on electrochemical ‘water polishing’, ETE assistant professor Jouke Dykstra has been awarded a VENI grant in the NWO talent scheme Veni, Vidi, Vici. This grant is aimed for excellent scientists that have successfully finished their PhD within the last three years. His project, Removal of toxic anthropogenic solutes in drinking water treatment by electrochemical polishing, aims to clean drinking water from low-level contaminants, that are still present after the conventional treatment technologies. The grant offers a personal budget of € 280.00000 for four years of work. Dykstra: ‘We will use the grant to develop the technology as well as a simulation model to further fine tune the knowhow and methodology.’
How to develop research that integrates various aspects of sustainability? How to critically assess the inclusion of sustainability in the work of others? Where to find a network of people working on sustainability-related topics in your own field?
If you are looking for answers to these questions, our SENSE Advanced Sustainability Course is the right place for you.
This course is the second course to be developed with SENSE funding for course development.
As COVID-19 first hit Europe in the spring of 2020, most countries, including The Netherlands, implemented strict measures to limit the spread of the virus. Human economic activity and transport in cities stopped almost instantly, and many people had to move their work from offices to homes.
The first recently published study in Science of the Total Environment by Giacomo Nicolini et al. shows that urban emissions were reduced by 5% to 87% across 11 cities and 13 measurement sites when compared to the same period in previous years. Measurements as part of the Amsterdam Atmospheric Monitoring Supersite (AAMS) showed the emissions were reduced by 40% during the lockdown and surprisingly, they remained about 30% lower for four months after the lockdown before they started to rise again.
Following PhD research at IHE Delft, Mr. Jonatan Godinez Madrigal of Mexico successfully defended his PhD thesis and was awarded with a Doctoral degree on 26 April 2022. Professor Pieter van der Zaag is his promotor and Dr. Nora van Cauwenbergh his co-promotor. Dr. Godinez Madrigal shared a few insights as he embarks on a new chapter of his life.
The presence of anthropogenic components in surface water, sometimes already toxic at very low concentrations, challenges the applicability of conventional technologies to produce safe drinking water. The chemical charge of some components, such as boron, arsenic and some organic micropollutants, is affected by the solution pH, and effective removal is challenging with conventional technologies. An innovative, chemical-free, electrochemical technology will be developed to polish, after conventional treatment, water, and to remove these harmful components. A physical-chemical transport model will be developed, which will aid the design of this innovative process