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NTU and Sembcorp to jointly explore novel waste water treatment technology

Nanyang Technological University's Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NTU-NEWRI) and Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) 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."


Contact: Esther Ang
Nanyang Technological University

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