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Amit Bhatnagar

Towards environmentally friendly and sustainable water treatment technologies

  • Environment and natural resources
  • Academic community

Amit Bhatnagar’s inaugural lecture in the field of water chemistry, to be held online on 13 May

Professor Bhatnagar will give his inaugural lecture on 13 May 2020 on the topic Going green: Wastewater treatment coupled with resource recovery using microalgae. A total of eight inaugural lectures will be delivered from the Kuopio Campus. The inaugural lectures will be held online and they are open to everyone interested.

Professors’ inaugural lectures on the Kuopio Campus on 13 May 2020

Amit Bhatnagar was appointed as Professor of Water Chemistry at the University of Eastern Finland in April 2019. Previously, he has held an assistant professorship (September 2014 – August 2017) and associate professorship (September 2017 – March 2019) in water chemistry at the University of Eastern Finland. Professor Bhatnagar obtained his PhD in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Roorkee, India, in 2003.

“In my PhD study, I successfully utilised solid industrial wastes from steel and fertilizer industries to treat the wastewater of other industries. After completing my PhD, I was fortunate enough to continue my research as a postdoctoral researcher on water-related topics in Switzerland, India, South Korea, Finland, Germany, Portugal and Sweden, under various reputed fellowships. It was during this time I realised that water pollution is truly a global environmental problem that differs only in its magnitude from one place to another.”

Already at a young age, Professor Bhatnagar became interested in water chemistry, when living in the town of Roorkee in India, which is situated on the banks of the Ganges River canal.

“In my childhood, we rarely faced shortage of drinking water. However, everything changed due to rapid industrialisation, which polluted most of the natural water resources in just 20-30 years’ time.”

The importance of water in a country like India, where 60–70% of the population is engaged in agriculture, is immense. The unavailability of clean water is devastating to farming, in addition to which floods and droughts cause socioeconomic damages and loss of life. These factors motivated Professor Bhatnagar to learn more about water chemistry, and especially about how water can be treated sustainably and at a low cost – for the benefit of low-income countries.

“My research focus at UEF is on finding nature-based solutions for water treatment and closing the water loop by following the principles of sustainable development and the circular bioeconomy. My research team focuses on finding sustainable solutions for water and wastewater treatment and resource recovery.”

“One of the specific technological solutions is microalgal based wastewater treatment.  We are investigating the potential of different fresh and saline water microalgae for wastewater treatment, nutrient recovery, simultaneous bioenergy production and the production of value-added products from algal biomass, such as bioplastics and bio-pigments.”

Professor Bhatnagar’s research group also actively investigates the synthesis and application of cellulose and biochar from waste biomass for the removal of different aquatic pollutants, namely toxic heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, dyes etc. Besides these, the group also studies the application of nanomaterials and nanocomposites in water treatment.

“Water is not only essential to sustain the life on earth, but it also plays critical role in fighting against pandemics like COVID19 and many other diseases to protect human lives. We must work in the direction of developing environmentally friendly and sustainable water treatment technologies. Saving water, recycling wastewater more effectively, investing in advanced technologies, increasing cooperation between different sectors are important tools for solving global water crisis problem. Therefore, there is no doubt to say that water will shape the future and that’s why understanding water chemistry in relation to its treatment tools is always critical.”

Amit Bhatnagar

  • Professor of Water Chemistry at the University of Eastern Finland 1April 2019–
  • Born 1976 in India
  • PhD (chemistry), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, India, 2003

Most important roles:

  • Associate Professor of Water Chemistry at the University of Eastern Finland 2014–2019
  • Highly Cited Researcher 2018 and 2019 (Web of Science)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Switzerland, India, South Korea, Finland, Germany, Portugal and Sweden) under various reputed fellowships
  •  Holds Editorial Board position in Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, Scientific Reports, PLOS ONE and few more journals.

For Further information, please contact:

Professor Amit Bhatnagar, University of Eastern Finland, Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, tel. +358 50 369 6419, amit.bhatnagar (a)

Print-quality photos of Amit Bhatnagar