Team:NCHU Taichung/Human Practices


Integrated Human Practices
For improving our project and get further feedback, we’ve visited several government agencies and a private enterprises.

Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substances Research Institute(TACTRI)

We got to know how dioxin is being test in food and they gave us suggestions on many things list below:

  1. How we can do on pretreatment of samples.
  2. Testing enzyme activity after protein purification.
  3. Break down product by using isotope method.
  4. We’re doing experiment on level of ppm, which is capable of testing dioxin in soil but not in food.
  5. Dioxin that had gone through Cl - degradation should be test of the toxicity.
  6. Testing dioxin using biological or microorganism method is still under breakthrough. However, once the method is applied, it is sure to be the best compared with heat and chemical methods.
EPA Environmental Inspection

From the agency, we had feedback as followed:

  1. We got to know how dioxin is being test in environmental level.
  2. Chemical method is used to test the concentration of dioxin.
Houli Refuse Incinerator Plant

We saw how garbage is being burned down and in order to avoid the production of dioxin(250 ℃ ~400 ℃ is especially significant), temperature is being controlled. In addition to this, after garbage is fully burned, two chemicals are formed: incinerator bottom ash and fly ash. Fly ash should be carefully coped with. They use active charcoal to stabilize fly ash and cleaned out with bottom ash together. Product such as brick is made by mixing ashes with concrete.

The major method using in the incinerator is heat method, as mentioned previously, breaking down dioxin by extremely high temperature. They’re interested in the method using in our project, microorganism method. Since dioxin is hydrophobic, it appears in soil most of the time. If we can successfully applied our method by phytoremediation, plant would be able to be cropped and break down dioxin in a nature way.

China Petrochemical Development Corporation

We got the permission to enter the most dioxin-polluted area in the world and got to know procedures they’re applying to break down dioxin in soil. The major methods are wet method and heat method while microorganism method is still under breakthrough. Since this method is what we’re doing, they are highly interested in and looking forward to our application later in the future. Additionally, we had planted several of our experimental plant ( Vetiveria zizanioides) in the area and will test the concentration of dioxin in the soil to see if the plant is sure to break down dioxin few months later.

Vetiveria zizanioides
Dajing Biological Engineering Company

Thanks to ShanghaiTech iGEM team for visiting the company and bringing our questions to get feedback as below:

Q: The plant Vetiveria zizanioides is an example of phytoremediation. According to this fact, endosymbiotic microorganism should be able to multiply. How do you examine the sample of soil microorganism on the effect of it?
A: By testing the quantity of the chemical aimed in degradation.

Q: Does the application of genetic modified microorganism have environmental concern?
A: We don’t have any applications in this field.