The E3 Garden has been created by Trinity College Dublin researchers Prof. Liwen Xiao, Tom Grey and Dr. Dunzhu Li, who are developing technology that simultaneously removes pollutants and generates electricity from wastewater.

Sponsored by Trinity College Dublin, the small show garden is themed ‘E3, water, climate change and sustainable development’ and demonstrates the great potential of E3 (Environment, Engineering and Emerging technologies) in fighting climate change and promoting sustainable development. Wastewater in the garden is treated and re-used for gardening, food production, dairy farming and other purposes. Meanwhile, electricity is generated in the wastewater treatment process and used to power a UV-LED disinfection system that purifies the treated wastewater.

The garden was developed in response to restrictions that were imposed during the heatwave of summer 2018 when using tap water to irrigate gardens was banned. It demonstrates one solution for water shortages, which are expected to occur more frequently in the future due to climate change.



Liwen Xiao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. He leads a research team that is working on technology that could simultaneously remove pollutants and generate electricity from wastewater.

When Liwen noticed that his garden was ruined following last summer’s water restrictions, he wondered if the technology they were developing could be used to create a purification garden that treats domestic wastewater for re-use. Together with his colleagues Tom Grey and Dr. Dunzhu Li, Liwen set his sights on developing a concept garden for Bloom 2019 which demonstrates the technology’s potential and promotes sustainable development.

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