Environmental Protection

Sembcorp, NTU to Explore Recalcitrant Organic Removal

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

Under the agreement, the parties 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 characterized by poor biodegradability and their difficulty of removal through the biological wastewater treatment process. The project would be supervised by researchers from both organizations. Intellectual property rights would be jointly shared, and Sembcorp will invest an estimated $1 million in the project.

The agreement was signed at Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2009 by 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 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 and Sembcorp Group President & Chief Executive Officer Tang Kin Fei. This agreement follows from an umbrella Master Research Collaboration Agreement formed between Sembcorp and NTU-NEWRI at last year's SIWW.

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."

NTU is a research-intensive university ranked among the world's top 100 universities. Sembcorp Industries Ltd is a leading utilities and marine group. The group provides centralized utilities, energy, and water to industrial and other customers in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Middle East.

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