NEW YORK & CHANGSHA, China--Natural water technology systems have enabled Alcoa (NYSE:AA) to decrease water usage and to return more clean water to the communities in which the company operates, said Rajat Ghosh, Ph.D., a senior project leader in Alcoa’s Environmental Science and Sustainable Technology Division. Speaking at the China America National Frontiers of Engineering (CAFOE) symposium held at Changsha University, Hunan Province, Ghosh explained Alcoa’s water technology strategy during a poster session of invited speakers.
“The world’s water usage is expected to increase by 40 percent in the next 20 years, which means that about two thirds of the world’s population could be under water stress conditions by 2025,” Ghosh said. “Recognizing this global mega trend, Alcoa has taken proactive steps to minimize our water usage and implement natural systems for both water reduction and treatment. We see engineered natural systems as practical, effective and sustainable solutions to the water problems encountered by industries and communities.”
For the past six years, Alcoa has focused on the development, evaluation, and deployment of innovative and low-cost sustainable water management technologies and approaches. Such approaches focus on eliminating conventional and more costly end-of-pipe water treatment technologies.
In addition to looking at production process changes to reduce the need for water, Alcoa is also focused on the use of significantly lower cost natural systems for water reduction, beneficial use and treatment. Such approaches, which can cost up to 75% less than conventional technologies, include green roofs, rainwater harvesting, water irrigation onto fields of grass and trees, engineered wetlands, and the use of various natural media for filtration of water contaminants, known as enhanced natural media filtration.
Ghosh, who earned his doctorate in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh, was invited to participate at the CAFOE symposium and to present at the poster session of invited representatives from industry, academia and consulting. The event is jointly sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering in the United States and the Chinese Academy of Engineering in China. Since 1995, the NAE has held an annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium for outstanding engineers between the ages 30-45 in the United States, but this is the inaugural year for the CAFOE program. Ghosh served as an invited speaker at the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium in 2007.
Ghosh joined Alcoa in 2005 and is involved in managing a wide range of strategic environmental projects. Prior to Alcoa, he was a senior technical consultant for The RETEC Group and a lecturer at CMU. Currently an inventor on one patent with four additional patents pending, he has published 25 external papers and has authored one book.
Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems. The Company has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for eight consecutive years. Alcoa employs approximately 63,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com