Using Microwave to Extract Heavy Metals from Sludge and Ash - Environmental Engineering Professor Shang-Lien Lo Awarded the "First Class Professional Medal in Environmental Protection" by the Environmental Protection Administration
Dr. Shang-Lien Lo, Professor at NTU's Institute of Environmental Engineering, achieved innovative and important breakthroughs in the engineering applications of microwave induced pyrolysis, the photocatalytic reactions of environmental nano materials, waste water and sludge physic-chemical treatment techniques, etc. As he was successful in inventing a method which used microwave to extract the heavy metals in sludge and ash , he acquired a national patent and was recognized for his contributions to environmental protection and sustainable usage. He received the "First Class Professional Medal in Environmental Protection"from the Environmental Protection Administration this year, and Dr. Stephen Shu-hung Shen, Director of the Administration, personally awarded the medal to Professor Lo, in recognition of the contributions that Professor Lo made to the nation and to society.
Sludge and ash ballast are the terminal wastes of many factories. Containing heavy metal and other toxic substances, they are the "necessary evils" of human civilization. Steel plants, print circuit board factories, and waste incinerators, etc., are the major producers of sludge and ash, averaging over hundreds of thousands of tons every year, so terminal waste treatment method is very important. The traditional method to extract heavy metal from sludge and ash takes 24 hours, and the success rate is only 70%. Professor Lo invented a method which used microwave to extract heavy metals, and the success rate was 95%. He was able to extract high concentrations of copper and other heavy metals, which were recycled for reuse, and he acquired a patent for such a technique. After extraction, the remaining materials no longer have any value for recovery, but Professor Lo used a stability-oriented technology to turn the remaining materials into non-toxic spinels which could be recycled and reused. This technology won him another patent. In essence, Professor Lo is known for his ability to make use of terminal wastes. Once his technology is commercialized, it will become a new milestone in the history of the reuse of terminal wastes.
So far Professor Lo has published more than 140 SCI indexed papers and acquired 15 patents. Another invention of his, the "activated sludge and biological contact aeration combined system," has been used in the sewage treatment facilities of more than 20 hotels (including the Grand Hotel), slaughter houses, dying factories, etc. The system is known for its capability to keep the waste water treatment facilities from losing their power due to high concentrations of fats, coloring agents, etc., which would cause severe pollutions to the environment.