LTQE’s work: Updates & next steps

The Laboratory for Water Quality and Treatment (LTQE), at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), has the lead on Work Package 2 – Technical innovations of the hands4health project, together with Martin Systems.

Focusing on the post-disinfection of handwashing water, LTQE has investigated the stability of chlorine (disinfectant candidate) in simulated handwashing water, to obtain a fundamental understanding of the kinetics and mechanisms of chlorine reactions with amides. The latter are abundantly present in handwashing water and could potentially control the fate of chlorine in the long term. The study on the chlorination of amides is currently in the submission process to a peer-review journal.

The next steps for LTQE’s work within the hands4health framework include:

  • Assessing chlorine stability in field handwashing water samples;
  • Investigating chlorine disinfection efficiency in the presence of surfactants, which are the main component in hand soap; and
  • Developing a passive dosing system that will be used in handwashing systems for chlorine release.

Participation in conferences and events

LTQE’s team has been actively participating in conferences and events, this way supporting the dissemination of the hands4health research results to a wider audience. Events attended this year included:

  1. The 2022 Green Days, hosted by the Environmental Engineering Institute, EPFL in Valais / Switzerland, in June 2022. The event was attended by Urs von Gunten and Tianqi Zhang, where the latter gave a poster presentation entitled Assessment of chlorine stability in recycled handwashing water: Role of amide-type compounds from soaps.
  2. The 3rd IWA Disinfection and Disinfection By-Products Conference in Milan / Italy, in June 2022, attended by Urs and Tianqi. At the conference, Tianqi gave an oral presentation covering the Assessment of disinfectant stability in recycled handwashing water.
  3. The Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting 2022, Zurich / Switzerland, in September 2022. Urs gave an oral presentation addressing Oxidation processes for micropollutant abatement: An Eldorado for environmental chemists, and Tianqi presented a poster on the Assessment of chlorine stability in recycled handwashing water: Role of amide-type compounds from soaps.
  4. Tianqi gave an online seminar talk to the Department of Environmental Engineering at the Michigan Technological University in November 2022, with the title Hygienic safety of recycled handwashing water: disinfectant stability and disinfection efficiency.
©EPFL-LTQE – Urs von Gunten’s team at the Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting 2022, in Zurich.