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NUS big winners in IChemE Singapore awards

Friday, October 23, 2015

THE National University of Singapore (NUS) was the big winner at the 2015 IChemE Singapore Awards, with entries from the university taking home three of the five awards.

The event, which celebrates excellence and innovation in chemical and process engineering in Singapore, was held at the Shangri-La Hotel on 22 October and was hosted by IChemE’s deputy CEO Justin Blades.

A team from NUS won the Research Project of the Year award for its work developing innovative adsorbents for carbon capture. The team’s solid porous CO2 adsorbents are made out of waste biomass. They are highly selective for CO2 and can be easily regenerated for reuse.

The same entry also triumphed in the Sustainable Technology award, but highly commended in that category was Coldharbour Marine, which developed a marine ballast water treatment system. Non-indigenous species of marine life can easily be transported around the world in ships’ ballast water, which can have detrimental effects on local marine life and the environment. Coldharbour Marine’s system uses inert gas from its proprietary inert gas generator to kill potentially invasive marine life in ballast water before discharge in foreign ports.

Han Gang from NUS was named the Young Chemical Engineer in Research. He has developed novel polymeric membranes and an osmotically driven membrane process that allow water purification and reuse, and produce energy by exploiting a salinity gradient. The membranes have generated considerable interest in the membrane science community.

The Education and Training Award went to a team from Singapore Polytechnic for their innovative method to teach chemical process safety. The team redesigned the module in plant safety and loss prevention, which now uses a model of a chemical plant lifecycle that shows the presence of hazards at all stages in the process and the use of various safety strategies and techniques. Students on the module also look at case studies of past accidents, including an analysis of the safety strategies that were or were not present.

Glaxo Wellcome Manufacturing won the Process Safety Award. The winning team designed a process for the company’s first project for the continuous manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients. The process has three stages, rather than six. This reduces the cost and increases flexibility. It is also inherently safer, including equipment for the real-time monitoring of the process performance to allow any potential problems to be detected sooner. (TCE Today)

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