NTU, NEA collaborate to develop waste-to-energy research facility

By Nanyang Technological University | July 13, 2016

The National Environment Agency recently signed a collaboration agreement with the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore to co-fund the development of a S$40 million ($29.7 million) waste-to-energy (WTE) research facility. The facility will be the first of its kind in Singapore and enable the translation of emerging WTE technologies, from research into demonstration and test-bedding projects.

Expected to be commissioned by late 2018, the facility will be an open platform to support research and its translation, as well as manpower training to build technical competencies in WTE domain areas. Possible demonstration and test-bedding projects to be conducted at the facility include turning waste and biomass into synthetic gas (syngas—constitutes mainly of hydrogen and carbon monoxide), cleaning and upgrading syngas to run a gas engine or turbine for higher energy recovery efficiencies, utilization of slag in engineering applications, novel flue gas treatment module for lower emissions, low-grade heat recovery and using a gas separation membrane to extract oxygen from air.

The collaboration agreement was signed by Ronnie Tay, CEO of NEA, and Professor Ng Wun Jern, executive director of NTU's Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute. The signing was witnessed by Choi Shing Kwok, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and Professor Freddy Boey, Provost of NTU.

Ronnie Tay said, "This collaboration with NTU underscores NEA's commitment towards Singapore's vision of becoming a zero waste nation. We hope that this facility will provide stakeholders such as research institutes, academia and industry with a platform to collaborate in and create more effective and sustainable waste management solutions through research, development, demonstration and test-bedding."

Prof Freddy Boey said, "NTU has an established track record of industry collaboration and for translating research into impactful commercial applications. NTU's research in water covers the whole cycle of water. Through this joint research facility with NEA, we aim to to build a centre of excellence and a hub in waste management research. It will provide local institutions and industries access to the world-class research facilities and expertise at NTU, helping them to innovate and develop clean solutions that are globally competitive. Such innovations will help overcome energy and space constraints faced by Singapore and other urban cities. NTU looks forward to collaborating with the industry in these efforts."

The collaboration was signed at the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore 2016 held from 10-14 July 2016 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands.