BM water can recycle contaminated water
BM water can recycle contaminated water
  • Observer
  • 승인 2006.11.11 00:00
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Our rivers and seas have been polluted by many things. The livestock wastewater of many pollutants discharged by some raisers impacts our water environment. However, devastation from these effluents may be a thing of the past due to newly patented organic compounds. Dr. Kim Mi-kyung who has been working for the Marine Science Research Center in Yeungnam University (YU) since 1998 discovered these efficacious compounds of BM water. She graduated YU in 1984 and went to Paris Sixth National University, France, to study more. Owing to her great efforts in science, her name was already printed in Marquis Who's Who in 2003-2006 and International Biographical Center (IBC) in 2004-2006. The Yeungnam Observer (YNO) had an interview with her to find out her recent research achievements and bring our readers' attention to her plan.

YNO: Hello, Dr. Kim. Congratulations! You got the patent for recycling livestock wastewater using Bacteria Mineral (BM) water. And I heard your research results would be printed in the global scientific journal Bioresource Technology. How do you feel about that?

Dr. Kim: It is known that BM water is an eco-friendly and highly effective technology to improve crop quality. But it is hard why the BM water removed nitrogen and phosphorus enhances the growth of plants and microalgae. And it is not easy to stabilize the concentration of the treated wastewater. Even though the inspection of the research paper was critical, now I'm happy to show you my research.

YNO: In terms of the earth's environment and ecology, what does the BM mean?

Dr. Kim: The healthy earth is defined as circulated and harmonized ecosystems that constitute the organic relations between organisms including producer (plant, algae), consumer (animals, man), decomposer (bacteria) and non-organisms such as earth-environments (air, water, temperature, light, minerals etc.). However, the pollutant overload due to human conveniences causes a break in the chain of organic relations and finally results in illness from the fatigue of the earth. The wastewaters such as animal and food wastewater, and human excrements including too much nitrogen and phosphorus are discharged into rivers, reservoirs, dams and seas during the rainy season. The discharged wastewaters are the typical water-pollutants, which destroy the ecosystem of water environments without going through any purification processing system. These activities tend to produce the eutrophication in water called "water-bloom" and the water environments are finally devastated by oxygen-depletion. However, not only is the wastewater treated by the eco-technique of BM by the recycling system related with environments highly purified with great reduction of pollutants, but also the BM water, can be recycled and used as bioresource and natural liquefied fertilizer, instead of antibiotics and agricultural chemicals, and its use even removes the nasty smell in a livestock farmhouse. Accordingly, BM plant is one of the systems that could protect our earth and living things.

YNO: Your research represents the first existence of organic compounds in BM water which have similar functions of antibiotics. It means we can make natural antibiotics. Could you tell us more specifically about that?

Dr. KIM: I wondered that plants and microalgae could be cultured and conserved by the metabolites of bacteria including in BM water originated from livestock wastewater. It was too difficult. When I made an analysis of original water and treated water, however, the most remarkable thing was that amount of Fe ion decreased five times opposite to Mg ion which increased twelve times. According to this result, I studied BM water on the assumption that an organic compoundlike chelator (heavy metal absorbent) must exist. So we finally found that BM water can substitute for EDTA chemical chealtor and even work better 20 times than EDTA. Also we needed natural alternatives because EDTA caused side effects and cost too much.

YNO: Up until now, how have we dealt with livestock wastewater? And what benefits can we reap by using a BM plant facility?

Dr. Kim: Many poor livestock raisers used to discharge a lot of illegal wastewater or use toxic absorbents. It damages many parts of our ecology. So if we create BM plant facilities at reasonable prices to those raisers, we can prevent environmental disruption in the water. And you should recognize that this facility can be exported to China which suffers from water pollution. I was invited to China by the Chinese Institute of Science and Technology in May this year. When I explained my BM plant research, Chinese officials of Environment were interested, China also encouraged the biological purification systems such as BM plant to deal with wastewater instead of chemical ones because China was suffering from water pollution due to high industrial developments.

YNO: Could you tell your future plan for research?

Dr. Kim: I'm planning to have an industry-academic consortium to make ecological centers not only in Gyeongsan but many cities by recycling wastewater and developing BM Plant facilities to protect water environments. The next research project will be focused on the global warming. Thanks to the funds of POSCO, a research project for sequestering CO2 in air will be started by using microalgae in November

YNO: Finally, do you have anything to tell the students who want to be future biotechnologists?

Dr. Kim: Unfortunately, I had been so sick when I was a third-year student of a high school just before the entrance examination of college. In addition, I had to stop studying for temporary rest for 2 years even at the University. Now, I am so happy that I could healthily concentrate on my own research about the systems and phenomena of living things on the earth. I want to say to students, 'Don't condemn your given environment and have a positive mind'. I believe that if you always do your best and try hard, your dreams will come true.

I was surprised at her innovative work which can change useless wastewater to precious restorative material. Furthermore, she is in the process of making bioresources by recycling wastewater. Passion is the word that comes to my mind while I was talking with her. We hope that her research proves to be the fundamental solution of wastewater pollution to keep the ecosystem and the healthy earth for the next generation.

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