Sembcorp, NTU to explore application of new technology for removal of recalcitrant organics from wastewater

SINGAPORE, June 23, 2009 -- Sembcorp Industries and Nanyang Technological University's Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NTU-NEWRI) have signed an agreement to jointly explore the application of a new system for the treatment of complex industrial wastewater...

SINGAPORE, June 23, 2009 -- Sembcorp Industries and Nanyang Technological University's Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NTU-NEWRI) signed an agreement today to jointly explore the application of a new system for the treatment of complex industrial wastewater.

Under the agreement, Sembcorp and NTU-NEWRI will work together over the next three years to explore a novel treatment technology aimed at removing recalcitrant organic matter from wastewater. These recalcitrant organic substances are characterised by poor biodegradability and by their difficulty of removal though the biological wastewater treatment process. The project would be supervised by researchers from NTU-NEWRI as well as water experts from Sembcorp. Intellectual property rights would be jointly shared by Sembcorp and NTU-NEWRI and Sembcorp will invest an estimated $1 million in the project.

The agreement was signed at Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2009 by Mr Tan Cheng Guan, Sembcorp Industries' Executive Vice President for Group Business & Strategic Development and Head for Water, Energy and Middle East & North Africa, as well as Prof Ng Wun Jern, Executive Director of NTU-NEWRI. The signing was also witnessed by the Economic Development Board's Director for Cleantech Goh Chee Kiong as well as Sembcorp Group President & CEO Tang Kin Fei. This agreement follows from an umbrella Master Research Collaboration Agreement formed between Sembcorp and NTU-NEWRI at last year's SIWW.

Commenting on the collaboration, Sembcorp Group President & CEO Mr Tang Kin Fei said, "We are happy to take our R&D collaboration with NTU-NEWRI a step further with this joint testbed for new wastewater treatment technology. This underscores Sembcorp's commitment to applying best available technology to meet our customers' water and wastewater treatment needs."

Elaborating on the technology to be explored, NTU's Associate Professor Volodymyr Ivanov, the Principal Investigator who leads the NTU team for the research collaboration, said, "NTU team has developed an innovative patented process, which is well suited for the treatment of industrial wastewater. This process models nature's way of cleaning the water. It is likely that this technology can be more competitive than other technologies. We are happy to collaborate with Sembcorp and develop this testbed and explore the technology further."

Remarking on the project, Professor Ng Wun Jern, Executive Director of NTU-NEWRI said. "Launched in 2008, NEWRI provides a clearly defined window through which industry and research partners can access NTU's comprehensive EWT capabilities. This partnership with Sembcorp is a good demonstration of NEWRI's goal of translating cutting-edge new water technology research and bringing it to an industry eager to benefit society and lead in an expanding market."

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a research-intensive university ranked among the world's top 100 universities. The Yunnan Garden campus, NTU's main campus, is located in the south-western part of Singapore and will be the Youth Olympic Village of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010. The NTU@one-north campus, home to educational and alumni clubhouse facilities, is located near Singapore's biomedical research hub, Biopolis; and the new engineering and physical sciences hub, Fusionopolis.

NTU has four colleges, namely:
- The Nanyang Business School (the College of Business), the first and only Singapore business school to be ranked in the top 25 of the Financial Times Global MBA 2008 rankings.
- The College of Engineering, with six schools focused on technology and innovation and a research output among the top four in the world.
- The College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, home to Singapore's first professional art school offering degree courses in art, design and interactive digital media; the Humanities and Social Science School; and the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, a top journalism and media school in Asia.
- The College of Science is home to award-winning faculty, world-class laboratories, and Olympiad medal winners.

The S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, one of three autonomous institutes of NTU, is a world authority on strategic studies and security research. NTU is also home to the internationally acclaimed National Institute of Education, Singapore's only teacher-training institute. The Earth Observatory of Singapore, established in 2009 with $150 million in state funding, is dedicated to hazards-related earth science.

As Singapore's main science and technology university, NTU makes significant contributions to the nation's renewed drive for research and innovation spearheaded by the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF). NTU's strengths in biomedical sciences, environmental and water technologies, and interactive and digital media mirror the NRF's research focus. Impressed by the vibrant entrepreneurship environment at NTU, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, widely known as 'The Foundation of Entrepreneurship', has chosen NTU to be the first Kauffman campus outside the United States of America.

NTU has a strong and broad international reach covering academic and research partnerships with top institutions in the US, Europe and Asia, such as MIT, Stanford University, Cornell University, Caltech, University of Washington, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University; Cambridge University, Imperial College and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology; and Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Waseda University, and Indian Institute of Technology.

Sembcorp Industries Ltd is a leading utilities and marine group. The Group provides centralised utilities, energy and water to industrial and other customers in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Asia and the Middle East. It is a global leader in marine and offshore engineering and also a provider of environmental and industrial park management services in the region.

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