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Preom Sarkar and Djuna Gulliver, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Mentor Collaborate to Advance Wastewater Cleanup

In this quarter’s Research Associate Spotlight and Mentor Profile, up-and-coming environmental engineer Preom Sarkar discusses the important contributions she is making in collaboration with NETL experts to create more environmentally friendly methods of flue gas desulfurization (FGD).

FGD systems are used to scrub the gas released during fossil energy combustion to mitigate the release of pollutants such as sulfur oxide gases and mercury into the atmosphere. As a result of scrubbing, a complex wastewater containing a number of contaminants is formed that must be treated before it is acceptable for surface discharge. Sarkar conducts research on water management of power systems, with a specific focus on biological treatment of FGD systems.

In this spotlight feature, Sarkar shares the journey that led her to apply for a research associate position at NETL and the new skills and invaluable experiences she has gained completing research with her mentor, Djuna Gulliver, Ph.D.

A researcher on the NETL Geochemistry Team, Gulliver explains how research associates such as Sarkar, a participant in the NETL Internship Programs administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, provide fresh perspectives needed to move critical projects forward.

For Gulliver, preparing the next generation of researchers to excel in their areas of expertise — and in life — are priorities. To meet both goals, Gulliver emphasizes the need for researchers to achieve a positive sense of work-life balance.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.