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November 28, 2021, 1:24 am

Vietnamese scientists pursue further research on arsenic

(15:44:23 PM 15/11/2014)
( - Prof Dr. Pham Hung Viet and his coworkers, who have published many scholarly articles on arsenic decoding, are continuing their research on the transport of arsenic in sediments with other scientists.

Vietnamese scientists pursue further research on arsenic


The high prestige gained from internationally published works has brought opportunities for the Vietnamese scientists to take part in many large-scale research projects.

They have been invited to join a US National Science Foundation-funded project, “Competing demands & future vulnerability of groundwater: Drinking water quality & food security in arsenic-impacted South Asia and ASEAN”.

The project will last 60 months with total estimated cost of $1.45 million.

“Research works on arsenic have been expanding in the world,” Viet noted.

Viet’s environmental geochemistry research team has published 26 ISI articles on arsenic over the last five years.

The team has also successfully invented equipment which can measure arsenic concentration in water at the level of 50 micrograms per liter.

The equipment is being upgraded to measure the arsenic concentration at a lower level of 10 microgram per liter.

However, Viet and his team are best known in the international community for their “Retardation of arsenic transport through a Pleistocene aquifer” paper, published in Nature in September last year.

Arsenic and its transport mechanism, according to Viet, is the topic of research of many groups of scientists from Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, India, China and the US. There is “competition” among the research groups.

The team conducts research work with different approaches. The work on the increased risk of arsenic contamination in groundwater in Vietnam due to the exploitation of deep groundwater for more than a century, for example, has been mapped on a 3D model.

This allows scientists to predict the arsenic contamination possibility in underground water by defining other parameters than arsenic, such as the pH value and oxidation of the water sample. The parameters can be found easily through a photometric method carried out on the site.

As for "the accumulation of arsenic in groundwater in Vietnam are defined by sediments’ age", the team’s measurement of the sediments’ age, the chemical reaction of water, the reaction of sedimentary organic carbon and the radioactive isotope ratio of methane produced in anaerobic conditions led to a discovery linking arsenic concentrations with sediments’ age.

The finding is important because it helps determine the cause of the changes in arsenic concentration in underground water.

The studying of the formation, movement and metabolism of arsenic in the aquifers requires in-depth knowledge in many fields.

Thus, the research team created interdisciplinary linkages and cooperated with many international specialists.

Dr. Michael Berg joined the team to fulfill 18 research works after many years of publishing internationally.

Under the international cooperation program, many Vietnamese scientists have succeeded with their work.

Dr. Pham Thi Kim Trang, under Viet’s guidance, has become one of the leading experts in arsenic. The “Retardation of arsenic transport through a Pleistocene aquifers” work alone helped train one PhD and two master’s degree scientists.

Tia Sang/ VietNamNet Bridge

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