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MSc Scholarship

Use of Waste Mussel Shells for the Removal Of Heavy Metals from Urban Stormwater

New Zealand has a large oyster and mussel farming industry that produces large quantities of waste shell material.

These shells have an unusual ability to capture dissolved heavy metal ions. This unusual chemical property of the shells has the potential to be used for the treatment of urban stormwater which frequently contains heavy metal contaminants, such as zinc, copper and lead. The ability to remove these heavy metals from stormwater would be of considerable environmental benefit.

The first step toward this goal is improving our understanding of how different types of New Zealand shells can be prepared by crushing, ready for their use in filtering storm water. The particle characteristics of crushed shells need to be determined as it is expected that these will greatly affect their ability to filter water in an applied situation. Then the second step of the research is to determine the performance of the ground shell material for filtering stormwater and capturing heavy metal contaminants needs to be determined.

A scholarship is available for a student to conduct all or part of this work over the next year, starting immediately. The scholarship could be used for a Honours or Masters level research project, or could form a research component of another degree programme, such as in Engineering.


Enquiries to:

Andrew Jeffs
Leigh Marine Laboratory
Email : or
Phone:  379-3817 or 021 256 3303