Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2018

The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize honours outstanding contributions by individuals or organisations towards solving the world’s water challenges by developing or applying innovative technologies, policies or programmes which benefit humanity.

This prestigious international award is named after Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, whose foresight and leadership has enabled Singapore to attain a sustainable water supply.

The Lee Kuan Yew water prize has already been won twice by Dutch representatives: professor Gatze Lettinga from Wageningen University (2008) and professor Mark van Loosdrecht from the Technical University of Delft (2012). Lets hope that a Dutch participant will win it again haha!

Participants can register through the website below:

https://www.gevme.com/lee-kuan-yew-water-prize-2018

Deadline for online submission is on the 30th of June 2017.

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Engineering with Membranes 2017

Between the 26th and 28th of April the annual Engineering with Membranes was held in Singapore organised by the Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC). The main goal of the conference was to share knowledge on recent advances in membrane science and technology. Leading membrane specialists from around the world gave a total of 70 lectures covering desalination, reclamation & resource recovery, molecular separation, membrane fouling, gas separation, pre-treatment, industrial & bioprocess application and membrane monitoring. The Dutch representative at this conference was Dr. Emile Cornelissen, senior researcher at KWR, who presented his research on controlling Reverse Osmosis (RO) fouling after minimal pre-treatment. His main conclusion was that the 1-step RO scenario was approximately 20% lower in costs than the Ultrafiltration (UF) – RO scenario. Air/water cleaning is effective to control clogging, while lowering flux values results in less membrane fouling.

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NEWater Singapore

One of Singapore’s four national “water taps” is to reclaim water from wastewater. After years of research, the Public Utilities Board (PUB), Singapore’s national water agency, started to supply high quality reclaimed water, referred to as NEWater. The majority of NEWater is supplied to industries for non-potable purposes. The rest is discharged into reservoirs for indirect potable use. Currently NEWater meets 30% of Singapore’s current water demand, and there are plans to increase this to 50% by 2060. At this moment there are four NEWater treatment plant in service (Bedok, Kranji, Ulu Pandan and Changi). NEWater is produced from treated sewage, termed “used water”, that is further purified in three different steps:

  1. Microfiltration (MF) is the first step in the NEWater production. The treated used water is passed through membranes to filter out and retained on the membrane surface suspended solids, colloidal particles, disease-causing bacteria, some viruses and protozoan cysts.
  2. The second stage of the NEWater production process is known as Reverse Osmosis (RO). In RO, a semi- permeable membrane is used. The semi-permeable membrane has very small pores which only allow very small molecules like water molecules to pass through. Consequently, undesirable contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, nitrate, chloride, sulphate, disinfection by-products, aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides etc, cannot pass through the membrane.
  3. The third stage of the NEWater production process acts as a further safety back-up to the RO. In this stage, ultraviolet or UV disinfection is used to ensure that all organisms are inactivated and the purity of the product water guaranteed (PUB).

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(Reverse osmosis membranes)

Colloquium Master Thesis

On Thursday the 16th of February 2017, I held my colloquium at Wageningen University of my master thesis covering the sanitation issue in Ciwalengke, Majalaya, Indonesia.

This master thesis research examined the important issues that play a role for successful implementation of domestic sanitation treatment facilities and the potential for nutrient harvesting in Ciwalengke. Based on field observation, water sample analysis, questionnaires and interviews a new sanitation design was proposed specifically for the case of Ciwalengke. It incorporated both a technical and institutional design. The technical design concluded that storage of urine and the treatment of the remaining wastewater through septic tanks were the most feasible technologies. The institutional design concluded that a solid platform would be necessary that incorporates community involvement in the maintenance and operation of the sanitation system. Governmental guidance coupled with a financial structure should be in place to facilitate this process.

It was great to see many students of my year and others attending this 🙂 Thank you all for coming!

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IPAL Bojongsoang, Bandung

In October 2016 I was invited to visit the only centralised domestic wastewater treatment plant in Bandung located in Bojongsoang. It was a very interesting day where I saw the many processes that take place within such a treatment plant. In this case, a series of stabilisation ponds were used to treat the incoming wastewater. Check out my short documentary of the processes below! 

WaterLink Leeuwarden

On the 26th of January 2017 I travelled up north to Leeuwarden for the 5th addition of the annual WaterLink event organised by Water Alliance. Water Alliance is a unique partnership of public and private companies, government agencies and knowledge institutes involved in water technology in the Netherlands. It brings together a unique and complete chain of innovation for water technology, from first idea to potential commercial success: from knowledge to business.

This year 16 different countries attended the event, the most number of international guests so far. Swimmer and three time Olympic gold medalist, Pieter van den Hoogenband gave a speech on his approach to becoming the best. This was followed by eight different parallel sessions covering various domains of water technology. I chose to attend “recourse recovery from wastewater” which was very interesting. The potential for recovering phosphorus and cellulose from wastewater were mostly discussed in an interactive session. After this there were plenty of opportunities for networking under the enjoyment of a tasteful dinner 🙂

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