Research Priority Area (RPA) 1: BIOREMEDIATION OF POLLUTED ENVIRONMENTS
Population explosion, industrialization and intensive agricultural activities have accelerated contamination of natural resources, namely soil, water and air. All natural resources are contaminated with organic and inorganic contaminants from various sources. Environment friendly remediation techniques are most sought out for a sustainable development of a nation. In Tamil Nadu, contamination of soil due to irrigation of untreated domestic wastewater and discharge of industrial wastewater have spoiled potential agricultural lands to an extent of 70,000 ha in major cities. Bioremediation (plants and microbes) techniques are eco-friendly and cost effective to restore the soil and water resources contaminated with organic and inorganic compounds.
- Developing in situ and ex situ integrated bioremediation strategies for restoring the contaminated soils and water due to industrial wastes and sewage water.
- Developing Environmental Experts on Bioremediation through capacity building programmes
RPA 2: WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND RECYLING
Wastewater generation from urban and industrial sectors are increasing day by day and its improper disposal on eco systems poses greater threat on environment. Around 302 polluted stretches on 275 rivers have been reported recently. The assessment on the quality of wastewater generated and its impact on eco system is mandatory for maintaining environmental quality. Recycling of treated domestic waste water (sewage) and industrial waste water for tree growth and agricultural production is a priority at the time where the availability ground water is declining. Studies on pilot scale waste water treatment techniques and the effect of treated waste water on soil quality and crop growth are essential for suitable environmental quality.
- Advanced treatment technologies for removal of pollutants in wastewater
- Development of anaerobic consortium for maximizing energy recovery from wastewater through advanced anaerobic digestion
- Ecofriendly Utilization of wastewater in crop production as a source of nutrients, organic matter and irrigation source.
- Monitoring the groundwater contamination due to industrial and domestic wastewater
- Development of remediation techniques to restore the polluted habitats due to wastewater
RPA 3: AIR POLLUTION MONITORING AND MITIGATION
Air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk and can cause a variety of environmental effects also on ecosystem and cultural heritage. Well-known pollution sources (e.g.traffic, biomass burning) and new drivers (e.g., new sources, fast urban development) bring new challenges. Aerosol particulate matter (PM), together with gases (e.g., NO x, PAH, VOCs, and SO 2),is the main pollutant responsible for atmospheric pollution and its effects. In this context, a detailed chemical characterization of particulate matter is needed to identify pollution sources and assess the environmental impact. Different kinds of environments are monitored starting from typically highly polluted urban environments, coming to background and remote sites. Monitoring air quality both indoor and outdoor is essential in order to evaluate negative effects on human health and to design the most efficient measures for a sustainable development.
- Monitoring the ambient air quality in a short spell of time for climatic forcing due to changes of Ozone, CO, NOx levels at higher altitude and ground level
- Climate change impact on emission of Green House Gases from agricultural ecosystems and its mitigation strategies.
- Arriving AQI (Air Quality Index) and creating data base for air particulate matter
- Developing air pollution mitigating strategies in industrial corridor
RPA 4: INTEGRATED SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
Urban India faces an enormous challenge: managing its gigantic load of solid waste. It has been estimated that 62 metric tonnes (MT) of municipal solid waste (MSW) is produced per year, which is based on an average of 0.45 kg per capita per day for India’s urban population.
Apart from urban solid waste, industrial solid waste and waste generated from agricultural activities are in considerable quantities and require suitable techniques to convert them into value added products which can be recycled for agricultural production.The requirement of organic manures for agricultural production and sustainable soil health is increasing and waste to wealth conversion techniques are the need of the hour. Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) is a comprehensive waste prevention, recycling, composting, and disposal system.
- Development of microbial consortium for rapid composting of different organic waste
- Developing a nutrient rich potting medium from solid waste for urban horticulture
- Assessing the impact of composted wastes on the productivity of crops.
RPA 5: AGRO ECOLOGY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
Agriculture faces the dual challenge of feeding a 9-12 billion global population by 2050 and to reducing its carbon footprint on the earth. The ecosystem services provided by natural processes such as soil formation, mineralization, nutrient cycling, bio-diversity and pollination are of great value to agricultural production, but with lesser environmental impacts. Maintenance of ecosystem services and the long-term productivity and stability of agriculture ecosystems requires a paradigm shift in agriculture that moves away from single solutions to production problems towards a portfolio approach that supports multiple ways to better use soil, water and biotic resources to achieve sustainable food production.
- Ecological impact of Miyawaki Afforestation in the urban areas
- Establishing Green Corridor for ecological preservation in the coastal and industrial areas