CRC CARE brings together industry, government, science and engineering to prevent, assess and clean up environmental contamination

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Biruck Desalegn Yirsaw


Biruck Desalegn Yirsaw


Thesis title

Application of nanotechnology in remediation

Project description

Oil sludge is a major environmental problem. There are significant environmental sites contaminated with oil sludge where the release has left substantial concentrations of toxic chemicals. The existing treatment methods do not achieve complete degradation or are prohibitively expensive for large sized clean ups. The project has three focus areas: synthesis of a low cost and ecofriendly nanoparticle that catalyzes oxidants; evaluation of the effectiveness of chemical oxidation catalysed by selected nanoparticles to remediate oil sludge contaminated soil; and finally assess toxic effect of the nanoparticles to soil organisms (bacteria, earthworm and algae).

Student Profile

Biruck has a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Health from Jimma University and a Masters Degree in Environmental Sciences form Addis Ababa University. He has worked as Lecturer at Head of Environmental Health Department and as academic commission member for public health faculty at Hawassa University in Ethiopia. Besides the academic and research role, Biruck worked as consultant for water, sanitation and hygiene and served for three years as regional advisory committee member for water, sanitation and hygiene. He offered courses on introduction to environmental health, occupational health and hygiene, air pollution, hazardous waste management and environmental toxicology to undergraduate health science students. Biruck participated in projects delivering community environmental health services in the region. In addition, he took part with other academic members in public health researches and produced scientific papers and lecture material on Environmental Toxicology for undergraduate students. From 2009–2011, he joined Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine as a research student.


Sileshi, B, Helmut, K, Worku, M, et al. 2012, 'Assessment on the approaches used for water and sanitation programs in Southern Ethiopia,' Water Resources Management, vol. 26, iss. 15, pp. 4295–4309.

Yirsaw, BD 2012, 'Chronic kidney disease in sub-Saharan Africa: hypothesis for research demand,' Annals of African medicine, vol. 11, iss. 2, pp. 119–120.

Sileshi, B, Abera, K &  Yirsaw, BD, 2012, 'Household's willingness to pay for improved water service: a case study in Shebedino District, Southern Ethiopia,' Water and Environment Journal, vol. 26, iss. 3, pp. 429–434.

Endale, YT, Yirsaw, BD & Asfaw, SL 2012,'Pathogen reduction efficiency of on-site treatment processes in eco-sanitation system,' Waste Management & Research, vol. 30, iss. 7, pp. 750–754.

Desalegn, BD, Beyene, H & Yamada, R 2012, 'Patients-to-healthcare workers HIV transmission risk from sharp injuries, Southern Ethiopia,' Sahara J-Journal of Social Aspects of HIV-AIDs, vol. 9, iss. 1, pp. 1–5.

Haylamicheal, ID, Dalvie, MA, Yirsaw, BD, et al. 2011, 'Assessing the management of healthcare waste in Hawassa city, Ethiopia,' Waste Management & Research, vol. 29, iss. 8, pp. 854–862.

Desalegn, B, Takasuga, T, Harada, KH, et al. 2011, 'Historical trends in human dietary intakes of endosulfan and toxaphene in China, Korea and Japan,' Chemosphere, vol. 83, iss. 10, pp. 1398–1405.

Desalegn, B, Nanayakkara, S, Harada, KH, et al. 2011, 'Mycotoxin detection in urine samples from patients with chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology in Sri Lanka,' Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, vol. 87, iss. 1, pp. 6–10.