青年说 ‖ 黄靖祺：环工生眼中的环保
Environmental Protection in the Eyes of
an Environmental Engineering Student
Profile: Huang Jing Qi
Junior student in environmental engineering at Jinan University. Always willing to volunteer and actively contribute to the environment. During the freshman year, she joined Jinan University’s Green Youth Volunteer Service Team and actively participated in the planning and execution of activities such as “Cardboard Box Collection” and “Used Clothes Recycling”.
I am a junior student majoring in environmental engineering. After three years of study, I have grown from a child whose concept of environmental protection is only limited to “saving water and leaving the lights off” to an adult who has some experience in environmental protection. It is far from a veteran honestly. Just let me share some ideas of environmental protection.
Huang Jingqi:There are three categories of environmental protection: water, gas and soil. Water means water environment, as in the case of the Pearl River; gas means atmospheric environment, as in the case of PM2.5, which has been a source of concern in recent years; and soil means land pollution, which encompasses land of various soil properties in urban, rural and other places. Of course, it is merely a general classification, for each of these broad categories can be divided into many branches and develop into different research directions.
Comprehensive environment protection
Environmental protection is a comprehensive discipline.
Well,so what does it mean to be comprehensive? I used to think that using the methods of physics, chemistry & biology on the basis of mathematics and having the language skills to be able to present a written report was called “comprehensiveness”. But now, I have a deeper understanding. That is to say, environmental protection involves many aspects.
First of all, the simplest case we can think of is technology, which in turn involves biological, physical and chemical methods.
The second is the economic cost, which should not be overlooked.
If we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various methods and equipment in professional classes, the economic cost will definitely be involved, and even the cost is often the key factor in the final decision. Some equipment and methods with high price and good results are fettered in the high end of scale. So they cannot be widely promoted before finding ways to reduce costs, then we can only use affordable substitute with common treatment rules.
The third factor, social policy. In terms of the disposition of solid waste, the most common used method is landfill and incineration at present. It is obviously not just a matter of economic cost, but social issues as well. People are very reluctant to build such places for solid waste disposal near the habitations. Therefore, it is crucial to listen to the public voice when building disposal facilities. Furthermore, there are many seemingly irrelevant sectors such as pharmaceuticals, education and so on, which are in fact also closely related to environmental protection.
Environmental protection is an industry that is conducting cutting-edge researches while doing down-to-earth things. The most fundamental issue is to solve the problem of heavy metal contamination in soil. It is a problem closely related to human life, but difficult to solve completely. The reason is that once the soil is polluted, it will become a long-term and large-scale problem that cannot be solved by years or decades of effort. The known “cadmium rice” in China and the “painful disease” in Japan at the beginning of the 20th century are typical cases. The culprit behind these incidents is a very common and troublesome heavy metal pollutant in soil-- Cd cadmium.
Now, there are many ways to deal with this hot issue, including physical method, that is, directly excavate the whole land for disposal, and then use the unpolluted soil for landfill. It is conceivable that such an approach is difficult and costly to implement, and that the fundamental problem of how the soil would ultimately be disposed of has not been addressed.
Then comes to the chemical method, which fixes the heavy metal ions in the soil by adding some chemical agents for subsequent disposal.
Finally, there is the biological method, which is currently considered to be the most likely way to thoroughly deal with soil heavy metal pollution. The method mainly involves the biochemical transformation of soil organisms or microorganisms after ingestion of heavy metal ions in their bodies, degrading their toxicity and reducing the contaminant levels in the soil. But at present, there is still no perfect solution to this kind of problems , and we hope the leaders of the environmental industry will make new breakthroughs in the coming years.