Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand)
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TOPIC: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand)

Introduction of Thammarat, a BMGF grantee at AIT, Thailand 18 Jun 2013 05:18 #4749

  • Thammarat
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Hi All,

Let me introduce myself. I am Thammarat Koottatep from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand where I have been working for some 20 years. In late 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation kindly granted a project namely "Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries" to AIT but unfortunately the devastating flood in Thailand caused gigantic damages and the delay of project commencement. Later in May 2012 our project successfully kicked off the planned activities which implement a "Market-driven innovation" approach. You can find further information at a subsequent post.

Back to self introduction again. Since my undergraduate to PhD, I have been working and studied in the area of "Environmental Engineering" with an emphasis on wastewater treatment and appropriate sanitation systems. With this background, it allows me to work on several international/regional field research projects, one of which is the Swiss-funded National Center for Competence in Research North South (NCCR) Program for almost 12 years as a regional coordinator in Southeast Asia. Currently, I am Associate Professor at the Environmental Engineering and Management of AIT which host the said BMGF-sponsored project.

I look forward to chat and discuss with you all!

Thammarat
Thammarat Koottatep, D.Eng.
Associate Professor
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
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Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) 18 Jun 2013 05:39 #4750

  • Thammarat
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Dear All,

I would like to present to you a brief info of our project which has been granted from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Title of grant: Sustainable decentralized wastewater management in developing countries (Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand)

Subtitle: Reinventing innovative decentralized systems and technologies for full or partial treatment, and disposal of human excreta and wastewater from dwellings and businesses in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Name of lead organization: Asian Institute of Technology
Primary contact at lead organization: Dr. Thammarat Koottatep ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), Environmental Engineering and Management, School of Environment, Resources and Development
Grantee location: Pathumthani, Thailand
Developing country where the research is being tested: Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam

Short description of the project:
The project seeks to reinvent technologies for decentralized wastewater management that is Naturally Acceptable and Technological Sustainable (NATS). The project focuses on innovation in decentralized systems and technologies using a market-led approach for full or partial treatment and disposal of human excreta and wastewater from dwellings and businesses.

Goal:
The ultimate goal is to use a market-driven research approach to catalyze commercialization of a novel and innovative decentralized system to radically improve sanitation for the urban poor. The goals are anchored by scientific, technical and market evidence.
To create sustainable and scalable social impact, the developed system is envisaged to be:
(i) Novel
(ii) Decentralized
(iii) Viable
(iv) Sustainable
(v) Superior

Approach:
The project follows a Market-Driven Approach with the first two phases focusing on creating innovative platforms and its design and implementation, while the third and final phase concentrates on commercialization and communication.

Objectives:
1. Invention and prototyping of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) technology that treats and discharges a pathogen-free domestic effluent, and ready for reuse products.
2. Field testing of prototype technologies for single families and apartment blocks or for community wastewater management.
3. Securing commercial ventures with industries for mass production and commercialization.
4. Increase regional academic expertise in innovative DEWATS technologies.

Phases: The first phase is aimed at creating a platform for innovation with focus on generating ideas, screening them and then developing and testing the concept. The second phase is focused on design and development of lead options. This includes developing a marketing strategy, analysis of business model and product development. The project culmination will commercialize the lead options.

Targets: The project has quantifiable targets, which includes among others development of thermal septic tank, microwave and microbial fuel cell, nano-disinfection and solid-liquid separation devices. Besides, technology identification of odor-free and pathogen-free effluent, with a 50 per cent reduction of fecal sludge, and production of ready-to-reuse market-friendly products is the other main target. Other targets include peer-reviewed publications, and identification of market factor, market and technology landscape analysis, identification of target buys, analysis of unmet needs and compilation of dataset of performance of existing systems.

Start and end date: September 2011 – October 2016
Grant type: Other
Funding for this research currently ongoing: yes
Research or implementation partners: Thammasat University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, and Ramkhamhaeng University.

Current state of affaires:
Due to a devastating flood in Thailand in late September 2011, the planned activities of this research project have been deferred for almost 9 months. On 31st of May 2012, after returning and renovating parts of AIT campus, Phase 1 of the project officially commenced with an endorsement by the Foundation WSH program. To date, the project has undertaken the preliminary field investigations on DEWAT and FSM systems not only on technical aspects but also on marketing and socioeconomic factors in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. These findings could help providing the meaningful considerations for the research on technology development that is focusing on thermal septic tank, microbial fuel cells as well as innovative FSM logistic model.

Links, further readings, etc:
Webpage: natstoilet.com

Paper at FSM-2 Conference in Durban in Oct. 2012: “Accumulation rates of thickened-bottom sludge and its characteristics from water-based onsite sanitation systems in Thailand”:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbk...ype=2&id=1624%29

Presentation at FSM-2 Conference:
www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...hnology-thailand.pdf

Video of me giving this presentation:



AIT news in March 2013 “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation floats idea of AIT as Creative Platform for sanitation R&D”: www.ait.ac.th/news-and-events/2013/news/...-for-sanitation-r-d/

AIT news in September 2012 “Big Gates grant to develop a better toilet”: www.ait.ac.th/news-and-events/2012/ait-i...m=gates%20foundation

AIT news in September 2012 “AIT awarded research grant on sustainable decentralized wastewater management systems”: www.ait.ac.th/news-and-events/2012/ait-i...m=gates%20foundation
Thammarat Koottatep, D.Eng.
Associate Professor
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
Last Edit: 18 Jun 2013 20:44 by muench. Reason: added link to video
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Reply:​​ Introduction of Thammarat, a BMGF grantee at AIT, Thailand 18 Jun 2013 22:57 #4754

  • Jetgen
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Hello Sammarat,

It is nice to meet you, and I heard about your organization recently from Roshan at BMGF. I am wondering if you have any contacts from your sector in S. Korea. I am networking with my S. Korean contacts to identify leaders in this field, and thought I would also ask you.

Thank you for your consideration, and I wish you well in your important work.

All the best, John

..........................................
John Etgen | Senior Vice President | Project WET Foundation
www.projectwet.org | 1001 W. Oak Street, Suite 210; Bozeman, MT 59715| john.etgen11 Skype |

Project WET: A Global Journal Top 100 NGO
Last Edit: 18 Jun 2013 21:16 by muench.

Re: Reply:​​ Introduction of Thammarat, a BMGF grantee at AIT, Thailand 23 Jun 2013 12:45 #4807

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Dear Dr. Thammarat,

It was nice to see your post on this forum. I do come across with your name on AIT newsletters. I’m also an AIT graduate. I did my M. Eng. in Environmental Engineering in 1975.

The project: Sustainable decentralized wastewater management in developing countries; looks interesting. Presently, the scope is limited to 3 countries, namely Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It should have included countries, like Pakistan and India, for more ambient temperature variations.

Currently, in Pakistan, in the municipal sector, the centralized wastewater treatment is being practiced, though, I personally feel, decentralized system approach may be adopted, as far as possible.

Nevertheless, I wish you success. If you need my help in the project, please don’t hesitate to contact me ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Regards,

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

Re: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) 24 Jun 2013 12:35 #4813

  • Thammarat
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Dear Mr. Mughal,

Thank you very much for your kind message to my post on the forum which I am very pleased to hear from a prominent senior alumni of AIT from Pakistan. Throughout almost 50 years of the Environmental Engineering at AIT, we are very proud of couple thousands of graduates who are effectively working in the field as you have been doing to date.

In the Gates Foundation sponsored project, we have undertaken the field investigations in those 3 countries in Southeast Asia but our technology development is not limited for this region. We are also looking forward to testing the developed technologies in a country who may interest in the decentralized wastewater management systems. Pakistan could be a potential field testing if a strong need is derived from your government or key stakeholders.

Best regards,

Thammarat
Thammarat Koottatep, D.Eng.
Associate Professor
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Re: Reply:​​ Introduction of Thammarat, a BMGF grantee at AIT, Thailand 24 Jun 2013 12:42 #4814

  • Thammarat
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Hi John,

Many thanks for the message. You may contact Prof. Kyu Hong Ahn if Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) who has a vast experience in the field of wastewater treatment technology. He is a former faculty member of the Environmental Engineering program at AIT.

His email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Best,

Thammarat
Thammarat Koottatep, D.Eng.
Associate Professor
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
Last Edit: 24 Jun 2013 13:41 by muench. Reason: removed gmail e-mail address

Introduction of Thammarat, a BMGF grantee at AIT, Thailand 25 Jun 2013 22:20 #4847

  • gitum
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Dear Dr. Thammarat,

Thank you for sharing your research, as being a young Environmental Engineer, I am very interested in your project. I also want to ask couple of questions about your research.

What is the scope of aimed pathogen removal. For example are you planning to deactivate worms/eggs?

In addition to the methods that you have mentioned, are you planning to combine these with conventional technologies such as activated sludge?

Regards,

Gökce
M.Sc. Gökce Iyicil
Research Assistant
Technical University of Munich
e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.tum-ias.de
www.sww.bv.tum.de
Last Edit: 27 Jun 2013 22:10 by muench.

Re: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) 04 Jul 2013 16:12 #4935

  • NaomiRadke
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Dear Thammarat,

Hope you are well and the project is kicking off after the unfortunate hold-back!

I am curious whether you and the VUNA project, represented on the forum by Kai Udert and Bastian Etter, exchange your project experiences and results. In case you are considering the separated usage of urine for your project, then the VUNA project might be of interest to you.
The VUNA project is researching on different reactor technologies (struvite as well as nitrification and evaporation) to reduce the initial volume of urine and kill pathogens. They also concentrate on a decentralized system.

Find the link to the VUNA project forum discussion here: VUNA Project

Regards,

Naomi
// Naomi Radke
MSc Sustainable Development
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
seecon international gmbh
society - economy - ecology - consulting
Basel, Switzerland

www.seecon.ch/

check out the SSWM toolbox for info on sustainable sanitation and water management:
www.sswm.info/
Last Edit: 04 Jul 2013 16:14 by NaomiRadke.

Re: Introduction of Thammarat, a BMGF grantee at AIT, Thailand 08 Jul 2013 09:38 #4970

  • Thammarat
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Dear Gökce,

Many thanks for your interest on our research. Yes, we do expect our developed technology be able to deactivate worm eggs as well apart form other pathogenic microorganisms. As per our recent ideas, we do not think to apply conventional technology as activated sludge but rather explore the possible advanced physical/chemical processes.

Best,

Thammarat
Thammarat Koottatep, D.Eng.
Associate Professor
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Re: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) 08 Jul 2013 09:46 #4971

  • Thammarat
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Dear Naomi,

Many thanks for your kind message.

So far, we have never exchange the project experience with VUNA. Within our project framework, we do not intend to separate urine for further treatment or reuse, but rather focusing on the mixed wastes from flush or pour toilets. Our challenge is to reinvent the technology that able to treat such mixed wastes at high moisture contents due to a limitation in changing people behavior to use urine-separated toilets especially in Southeast Asia.

Best,

Thammarat
Thammarat Koottatep, D.Eng.
Associate Professor
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

AIT Solar septic tank and hydro-cyclone toilet @ Reinventing the Toilet Fair, Delhi, 2014 02 Apr 2014 14:57 #8080

  • Thammarat
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Hello!

If you want to know more about the progress of our work under the Gates Foundation granted project (“Solar septic tank and hydro-cyclone toilet “), then please view the interview that I did with Elisabeth, as well as the tour I gave her and Arno of our exhibit at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair on 22 March 2014:





Photos of the exhibit are available here in this Flickr album:
www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157644707061936/

Regards,

Thammarat
Thammarat Koottatep, D.Eng.
Associate Professor
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
Last Edit: 20 May 2014 14:14 by muench.

Re: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) 18 Apr 2014 12:40 #8263

  • christoph
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Dear Thammarat,
I am going on a tour to Thailand to see wastewater treatment plants and their potential to reduce CO2 carbon footprint. I would be very glad to exchange some ideas with you, especially regarding as well the situation of fecal sludge, as I understand that centralized treatments often have low BOD due to the septic tanks. I wonder how fecal sludge management is done and if the sludge goes to the treatment plants.
As well I would like to learn more about the wastewater refinancing.

Thanks in advance and I will contact you by email as well. Just wanted to let the comunity know, just in case there is sombody else who could (or would like to) contribute with knowledge about Thailand maybe.

Yours

Christoph
Last Edit: 18 Apr 2014 21:47 by muench.
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