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Join April’s Inaugural Lecture event exploring solutions to pollution

Loughborough University extends a warm welcome for everyone to attend these engaging public events, delivered by its Professors on campus.

The next event of the series will take place on Wednesday 10 April, covering the following topics:

  • How will microbes and electrons help us to achieve a circular economy? – Professor Eileen Yu, Department of Chemical Engineering

The global population boom is dramatically increasing the demand for resources, energy and water. Meanwhile, soaring greenhouse gas emissions and pollution are damaging the natural environment and accelerating climate change. We urgently need innovative ways to tackle these complex and related challenges.

Bio-electrochemical systems (BES) provide one solution. An exciting emerging approach, they combine wastewater treatment and resource recovery with energy generation and storage. Crucially, BES use microorganisms as biocatalysts to recover metals and nutrients from CO2 while synthesising high-value chemicals. These reduction reactions are powered by electrons harvested from the oxidation of organic pollutants in wastewater or from green energy sources.

BES are attracting growing interest as a way of reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing energy security while sustainably providing valuable chemicals – reducing our fatal reliance on fossil fuels.

Professor Yu’s lecture will explore how integrated processes – combining biological and electrochemical reactions – can provide a crucial route to achieving a healthy circular economy that supports sustainable development.

  • Drugs, pollution and (avoiding) explosions: combining chemistry and technology to solve problems – Professor Steven Christie, Department of Chemistry

The art of synthetic organic chemistry – how we make a whole host of useful chemicals – is almost 300 years old. As a science, it has constantly evolved, but its progress has accelerated rapidly during the past 25 years.

In his lecture, Professor Christie will illustrate some of these changes and how he has used them in his own research. He will show how the preparation of small molecules can now be achieved rapidly by machines, as well as how chemistry can influence biological systems.

Chemistry is also addressing numerous modern environmental concerns. Steve will show how his industry collaborations are helping to solve the challenge of plastic pollution, and how his partnership with engineers – to develop 3D-printed concrete that absorbs carbon dioxide – is advancing net zero goals.

All lectures begin at 5pm and take place in EHB110b, Edward Herbert Building, with registration from 4.30pm. For more information about the venue, including photographs, view the access guide for EHB on AccessAble.

The Professors will be available for questions and further discussion at a drinks reception after the lectures.

Register for the 10 April Inaugural Lecture event and read full details about the series.