A three-day technology exhibition showcasing the results of the National Science Council’s Disseminating Excellence Project and Nanotechnology Education Training Project opened in Kinmen yesterday.
Among the featured items are research projects closely associated with the situation on Kinmen, such as a water recycling plan introduced by Liu Hua-yueh (劉華嶽), an assistant professor at National Quemoy University’s Department of Architecture.
Liu said Kinmen’s transformation from a military base in recent years has seen an influx of tourists, but water supply on the island has always been limited because of its low average rainfall.
This motivated him to think about ways to try to help solve the water supply problem and help Kinmen to become a low-carbon environment
His attention was drawn to government-owned Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Co, which is the largest company on the island, and uses the most groundwater, discharging about 450 tonnes of wastewater everyday.
This wastewater is only processed through secondary treatment (biological organisms decompose most of the organic matter into an innocuous and stable form), allowing it to be discharged into the sea, but not rendering it suitable for irrigation.
“Discharging wastewater in the sea is a wasteful way to use the limited water resources,” Liu said.
He therefore developed an improved wastewater recycling system using local natural materials, including sorghum (the main ingredient for making kaoliang), coconut peel, oyster shells and charcoal.
“The stem of sorghum is a good material because the texture is strong and fibrous, so we experimented with it and discovered that it is very effective in absorbing ammonia nitrogen,” Liu said, adding that coconut shells with their many pores can improve the dissolved oxygen level.
Liu said if the system can operate successfully at Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor to recycle all of the daily 450 tonnes of wastewater, hopefully it can be used as a water treatment method for the whole island, to help preserve its limited water resources.
Other items featured at the exhibition include recycled tangerine and pomelo fibers mixed with pulp to produce paper, a 3D digital archive of traditional Fujian-style buildings — Kinmen has a large concentration of such buildings — and the appliance of low carbon concepts to repair buildings.