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Doudrick a recipient of the 2019 Fulbright Global Scholar Award

Nina Welding • DATE: April 16, 2019

Kyle Doudrick, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences, was awarded a 2019 Fulbright Global Scholar Award by the Commission Franco Américaine.

Doudrick will continue his research on wastewater treatment with scientists at the Reactions and Process Engineering Lab at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France this summer.

“It’s an intellectual exchange,” he said. “You go there, immerse yourself in the culture and bring back the skills they teach you to your own lab.”

Specifically, the team will focus on extracting nitrogen from urine in wastewater, converting it to energy.

“Nitrogen going into a wastewater treatment plant is costly,” said Doudrick. “About 80 to 90 percent of nitrogen in wastewater comes from urine.”

Wastewater facilities require a significant amount of space, time, and energy to treat nitrogen. Extracting it would streamline the treatment process, making it more cost-effective and energy efficient.

Doudrick said this could also help developing countries, bringing researchers one step closer to de-centralized sanitation where wastewater can be treated and reused at the source.

Additionally, nitrogen can be converted into hydrogen gas and used for energy, or it can be used as a fertilizer in rural communities.  

The team will use an advanced electrochemical system in their research. Doudrick will contribute his findings on the design and testing of nanostructured electrodes and French researchers will provide models that can predict full-scale behavior.

— Allison Preston, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences