Minh Nga Nguyen
Environmental Chemistry Research | Future Young Leader
Minh is a graduating year 12 student, who has conducted several independent research projects engineering closed-loop systems, which target the agricultural industry’s environmental pollution.
Her most recent project developed a waste-treating-waste approach, in which she recycled agricultural byproducts such as corncob into a multipurpose biochar charcoal. Minh has maximised biochar’s effectiveness in filtering livestock wastewater to meet Australian effluent guidelines, before reusing it as crop fertiliser.
In addition to mitigating livestock water pollution Minh’s biochar-filtration-fertilisation model can economically benefit farmers, by minimising commercial fertiliser costs.
This model has received national and international recognition, winning first place for Investigations at the 2018 BHP National Science and Engineering awards, and the 2018 Australian Junior Water Prize.
Media and industry attention including SBS, CSIRO and the Australian Water Association have enabled Minh to share the promising potential of reusing waste to treat waste, to ensure sustainable food production for the future.