I am collaborating with Ass. Prof. Kashino for several years utilizing micro-algae to develop cost-effective method of biomass production and wastwater treatment. This time, I visited his lab to determine ideal cultivation condition toward the establishment of a method to harvest algal biomass.
Other than scientific research, several lectures/talks have been presented to the students/researchers of the University of Hyogo in the College of Science (Harima Science Campus) and College of Engineering (Himeji Engineering Campus).
1. Lecture to the 2nd year science students at Harima Science campus/ University of Hyogo on 5th Jan 2017 (Influence of Atmospheric Pollution on Ecosystems).
2. Presentation to Prof. Kashino’s research group, Harima Science campus/ University of Hyogo on 19th Jan 2018 (Impact of microalgae and harmful algal blooms (HABs) on human health and the environment).
3. Joining the first year students (from Himeji Engineering Campus) for a scientific site visit to Spring-8 on Dec, 2017.
4. Presentation for kids at a kindergarten in Harima area on 22nd Jan 2018.
During my short stay 19nd Dec 2017 – 24 January 2018 in Prof. Kashino’s lab we investigated the possibility of two different microalgae species, namely one diatom (Chaetoceros gracilis) and cyanobacteria (Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803) individually and mixed, for treating real wastewater. The results showed that Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 can be used effectively for removing phosphate and nitrogen from a real wastewater samples obtained from the local wastewater treatment plant in Harima. However, Chaetoceros gracilis was unable to grow alone without sea salt. Furthermore, we found that the Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 can still grow and produce biomass even using only wastewater as a sole medium, which will significantly improve the economic impact of large scale applications. 1% CO2 in the injected air improve and enhance the growth and TAG accumulation, but have no significant affect on nutrient removal. The results will be submitted to international scientific journal.
This short visit was absolutely a great opportunity for me to initiate long term and productive research collaboration between Curtin University, Australian and University of Hyogo, Japan. In the next step we are planning to exchange researchers (master and PhD students) between the two research groups to pursue the efforts toward successful implementation the microalgae application for a sustainable environment. Apart from the scientific aspect of this opportunity, I was impressed in the Japanese culture, tradition, and the educational system. Therefore, I highly appreciated Hyogo Government to make all these happening by supporting my stay through HORN program.