Bill Sloan – Environmental Engineering

Prof William T SloanBill Sloan, Professor of Environmental Engineering, is using cutting-edge advances in biology to improve our treatment of waste water.

"For the last hundred years we’ve relied on communities of microorganisms to treat waste," explains Professor Sloan. "But we’re now in a golden age of biology and we’re finding out more and more." Through new sequencing technologies researchers are learning to manipulate the organisms to treat our water supply more efficiently. "Currently between 5% and 7% of all the electricity in Scotland is used to treat waste water, so we’re trying achieve energy-neutral water treatment."

As well as collaboration with geneticists, synthetic biologists and microbial ecologists, there is industry interest in Professor Sloan’s work from companies such as Scottish Water and Unilever.

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First published: 25 March 2015