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AUS students win Best Outstanding Team award at Sharjah Sustainability Awards
Two students from American University of Sharjah were declared winners of the Best Outstanding Team award at the recently held Sharjah Sustainability Awards. Aya Hossam El-Din Mustafa and Mohammed Seif Al-Dawla Mohammed won the award in the Applied Scientific Research category for their project entitled The use of chemically modified cotton and palm leaves in removing heavy metals from wastewater. The event took place on April 28.
Their project research focused on cotton fibers and the powder of palm leaves being chemically modified to be used for removing heavy metals, such as mercury and lead, from polluted water. This modification of the chemical properties of these renewable natural fibers turns them into metal "sponges" which can subsequently be used to remediate polluted water, such as industrial wastewater of factories and contaminated water from by natural disasters. These developed materials are considered efficient, fast, cost-effective and, most importantly, sustainable decontamination and cleanup technologies due to the fact that both the UAE and the GCC produce large quantities of dry palm leaves annually. The project, which is in its initial stages, is still conducting further experiments to enhance the efficacy and applicability of these fibers.
The research was conducted in AUS labs under the supervision of Dr. Mohammad Al-Sayah, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences.