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NTU and UNSW open joint center to study microorganisms for water and environment technologies
Date:5/10/2010

Get clean water just by controlling the behaviours of the bacteria, or by using bacteria to speed up the water and wastewater purification process.

These will be possible once the researchers in the new Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre (AEBC) analyse the biological behaviours of microbial communities. The aim is to reduce the cost, time and energy by 10 to 50 percent to produce clean water and to treat wastewater.

Jointly set up by Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Australia's University of New South Wales (UNSW), and supported by Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Environment & Water Industry Programme Office (EWI), AEBC will focus on research in environmental biotechnology, bioprocess development and engineering, and marine processes and health.

Drawing on the technology-based bioprocess expertise in NTU and UNSW's strength in microbial and marine ecology, the Centre seeks to address issues on water production, water and wastewater purification, reduce energy usage in these processes and in the reclamation of used water.

The Centre will also develop monitoring capabilities, sensor systems and management programmes to safeguard Singapore's coastal waters as these have impact on desalination, shipping, recreation, and food resources.

Led by Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI) Executive Director Professor Ng Wun Jern, and UNSW Professor Peter Steinberg, AEBC when fully operational will be supported by eight core researchers and nine research fellows.

Besides research activities, AEBC will develop collaborative programmes with other NEWRI centres and industry partners, and participate in NTU's postgraduate education. The Centre plans to train 26 graduate students for the water industry by 2015.

"This partnership will enable the two universities to pool our research expertise and technological resources, bringing us closer to o
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Contact: Esther Ang
estherang@ntu.edu.sg
656-790-6804
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

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