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Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Control & Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution (CNERC-CTHMP) was formally approved by the State Ministry of Science and Technology in 2011 in Central South University. It is the national technology R&D and education base for heavy metal pollution.

CNERC-CTHMP consists of 42 permanent researchers, including 36 associate and full professors. Seventy percent of the researchers have overseas research experiences. One professor is the awardee of National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, two Distinguished Professors for Changjiang Scholars Program, one Distinguished Professor for Recruitment Program of Global Experts, one Technology Pioneer of Hunan province, five New Century Excellent Talents of the Ministry of Education. Under the leadership of Professor Liyuan Chai, the heavy metal pollution & control research group was selected as Innovative Research Teams in key fields for National Innovation Talent Promotion Plan. The center is supported by Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University. Center also hired more than 10 internationally renowned scholars as visiting professors and built long-term cooperative and exchange relationships with international famous universities, such as Georgia Institute of Technology, Flinders University of South Australia, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Kyushu University, Akita University, and etc.

CNERC-CTHMP has several research institutes, including State Center of Pollution Control Engineering for Environmental Protection in Non-Ferrous Metal Industry, Heavy Metal Pollution Comprehensive Treatment Engineering Technology Research Center of Hunan Province, and Hunan Key Laboratory of Water Pollution Control Technology. In addition, the center has about 7 advanced labs, including heavy metal cleaner production processing lab, heavy metal wastewater treatment lab, heavy metal solid waste treatment and reutilization lab, flue gas treatment and simulation lab, heavy metal soil remediation lab, mining and metallurgy environment biotechnology lab, public large-scale equipment characterization lab, etc. The scientific instruments is over 50 million.

CNERC-CTHMP focuses on the research of heavy metal pollution protection and is devoted to the relevant technology R&D. The research areas include (1) heavy metal clean production and emission reduction, (2) treatment and utilization three heavy metal wastes (industrial wastewater, waste gases and residues), and (3) remediation of heavy metal contaminated sites. The center developed more than 30 technologies, such as lead clean smelting and secondary waste recycling technology, lead, tin, antimony, bismuth clean smelting and low temperature desulfurization technology, a technology for reduction of high-risk waste with rich Fe and small Pb to prepare matte, a technology for advanced treatment and reuse of wastewater containing heavy metals by biologics, a technology for purification and recovery of flue gas containing low-concentration sulfur dioxide, etc. A heavy metal pollution treatment technical system in the field of nonferrous metallurgy is successfully established.

CNERC-CTHMP undertook more than 80 important research projects, such as National Science and Technology Major Project, National High Technology Research and Development Program (863 Program), National Key Technology Research and Development Program, Major Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and etc. Achievements include three state-level science and technology awards, and more than ten provincial and ministerial-level science and technology awards. More than 70 invention patents were granted and more than 500 papers were published in international research journals. In addition, Center completed more than 20 technical services projects given by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, more than 10 formulations of national standards and development programs, and nearly 100 consultancies from other places and enterprises.

CNERC-CTHMP establishes transformation platforms of scientific and technological achievements. In 2012, Central South University united 33 large state-owned enterprises including Zhuzhou Smelter Group Co., Ltd., Henan Yuguang Gold & Lead Co., Ltd., and Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy to form National Innovation and Strategy Alliance of Heavy Metal Pollution Control Industrial Technology, and it acted as the governing unit.

Center built many industrialization demonstration bases in various enterprises, such as Zhuzhou smelter, ShuiKouShan non-ferrous company, Henan Yuguang Gold & Lead, Chenzhou Jingui silver industry, Chenzhou Fengyue Company, etc. Center also designed and built many mobile pilot-scale systems, including heavy metal solid waste treatment, advanced treatment and reuse of heavy metal wastewater by biologics, purification and recovery of air pollutants containing heavy metals, and heavy metal soil remediation. These industry-university-research cooperation platforms rapidly apply the laboratory technical achievements to industrial tests and thus achieve the rapid extension of technology. Center realized more than 10 achievements of technology industrialization, and created nearly 2 billion of annual economic benefit for smelting industry.

Center takes talent training and technical exchanges as an important task. Every year, nearly one hundred high technicians specializing in heavy metal pollution treatment are trained by the center and transported into society, 2~3 meetings are held for technical exchange of heavy metal pollution, and more than 200 technical experts are trained for enterprises.

In the future, CNERC-CTHMP will focus on the requirements of State Medium-term and Long-term Scientific and Technological Development Program Planning, State Major Strategic for Heavy Metal Pollution Treatment, and enterprise development. The core goals are education and R&D of heavy metal clean production and emission reduction, three heavy metal wastes treatment and utilization, and remediation of heavy metal contaminated sites. Center will emphasize on the research and development of industrial technology. We will build a top-ranking technical service platform in the field of heavy metal pollution treatment.