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09/11/2017 HYU News > Academics

Title

Making a Better Environment to Live In

Professor Kim Ki-hyun (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)

온정윤

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http://www.hanyang.ac.kr/surl/Rr9M

Contents
Until the 21st century, the world has gone through excessive amounts of civilization. People were able to make various visible developments while failing to keep the environment without pollution. Professor Kim Ki-hyun of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, therefore, focused on the environmental problems through his paper, “Biochar as a Catalyst”. Through the paper, he introduced a new material that could better purify various impurities.
 
Biochar is a compound word of ‘bio’ and ‘char’, which is biology and charcoal. This material is a type of waste that is produced when you burn any biological materials that possess carbon. Just as charcoal is made when you burn trees, biochar is made when you burn biological materials. Through this not-so-helpful looking waste, people can purify the environment. When soil is polluted with something, such as oil, pesticides or heavy metal, biochar can be effectively used to absorb these contaminations. They combine well with toxic substances; therefore, it allows purification of soil only though scattering these materials in the soil and skimming them out again.
 
 
The picture of the process of making biochar.
(Photo courtesy of Kim)

Kim introduced his overall research related to biochar. He studies various metal organic frameworks, which are much like biochars, used to purify polluted environments. “There are over 20 thousand types of metal organic frameworks, and I am currently working on which framework will be the most effective when purifying pollution,” explained Kim. Moreover, he talked about electronic cigarettes which are a relatively newly introduced invention. As there isn’t a proven result of the components within the electronic cigarette, Kim is working on the methods to discover the dangers of them. Kim said, “There isn’t a precise database related to electronic cigarettes. They could also consist of numerous cancer-causing agents and harm, just as original cigarettes does. I intend on discovering these substances and, furthermore, purify them.”

Kim, however, does not solely research on this one material. He pays attention to the general issues within the society. His main interest lies on various aerial issues such as air pollution, fine dust, indoor pollution and stenches. Kim said, “There, indeed, are a lot of problems regarding pollution related issues. However, there are also a lot of methods that can be used to solve these problems. My goal is to make effective solutions through comprehensive research.” He explained that the biochar mentioned in his paper is only a small example of his overall goal. He intends to research on more new materials and solve various social issues.
 
Kim hopes people could have correct information on the environment.

 
Kim hopes that people would have a better understanding of environmental pollution. “When the dust level exceeds 100 microgram per 1 cubic meter, the Ministry of Environment suggests to refrain from going out. However, when people wear masks right after they smoke to protect themselves from fine dust, they breathe in eight hundred to nine hundred micrograms of dust. Due to excessive amounts of information, people sometimes make contradictory actions,” explained Kim. He wished that more environmental education would be made in the pursuit of proper knowledge. He added that Hanyang University students should give more interest towards the environment. “Let’s keep the air clean, with correct information!”



On Jung-yun            jessica0818@hanyang.ac.kr
Photos by Park Young-min
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