Sembcorp and NUS establish Corporate Lab for sustainable energy, water and waste-to-resource technologies

Energy and water company Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have announced they have established the SembcorpNUS Corporate Laboratory to develop new, competitive and sustainable solutions in the areas of energy, water and waste-to-resource. Set up with a jointly-funded investment of S$60 million, the new corporate laboratory is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore under its Corporate Laboratory@University Scheme, which supports the setting up of key corporate laboratories via public-private partnerships.

Based at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, the new Corporate Laboratory will harness the combined expertise of 45 researchers from NUS and 35 engineers from Sembcorp. It aims to generate new scientific and engineering knowledge and develop competitive and sustainable solutions for power generation, industrial wastewater treatment and water reuse, as well as the transformation of waste into useful and high-value products such as ultra-light composites for modular construction.

Research activities will include:

  • The development of predictive maintenance systems that will optimise and enhance the efficiency of energy generation operations, while reducing emissions and waste residue.
  • The development of cost-effective solutions to meet stringent chemical oxygen demand (COD) discharge standards, as well as comprehensive biological models to optimise plant performance and reduce liquid discharge.
  • The conversion of solid residue from power plants and incineration facilities into useful and high-value products, and utilisation of combustion ash and solid residue to produce ultra-light composites for modular construction.

The projects will involve laboratory and pilot studies, as well as research conducted using full-scale facilities, with the final aim of full-scale implementation.

The Corporate Laboratory will work closely with NUS’ research centres, such as the Centre for Water Research and Centre for Advanced Materials and Structures which are based in NUS Engineering. It will also provide an important platform for NUS students and researchers to gain experience in industrial R&D and promote interaction and exchange of ideas with engineers from Sembcorp.

The Corporate Laboratory@University Scheme seeks to strengthen Singapore’s innovation system by encouraging public-private research and development collaboration between universities and companies. It ensures that universities achieve impact by developing cutting edge solutions for problems faced by the industries. The collaboration creates employment opportunities and trains a pool of industry-ready research manpower.

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