Seminar on Industrial Waste Treatment and Material Recovery

Date: 27 Mar 2012 - 27 Mar 2012

Venue: SIMTech Training Room, Level 3

Robust and low cost process technologies for industry waste treatment, particularly high COD (biochemical oxygen demand)/BOD (chemical oxygen demand) waste water treatment, are in high demand both locally and worldwide. This seminar aims to create greater awareness of current research work in developing novel electrochemical processes and reactors along with the technology development in the field of industrial organic waste treatment.   


1.30pm     Registration

2.00pm     Presentation 1: Electrochemical Recovery of Metals from Wastes by Prof. Keisall, Imperial College, London 
2.50pm     Presentation 2: Advanced Wastewater Reclamation Towards Achieving Zero-Liquid Discharge by A/Prof. Lim Teik Thye, NTU

3.20pm     Presentation 3: Electrochemical Treatment of High Concentration Organic Wastewater by Dr Huang Zhaohong, SIMTech

3.50pm     Q&A

4.00pm     End

About the Speakers 
Geoff Kelsall has been Professor of Electrochemical Engineering at Imperial College London, since 1994, except for 1998 - 2000, when at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, he held the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Electrometallurgy. The primary research interest of the Electrochemical Engineering Research Group ( are in developing novel electrochemical processes and reactors (electrolysers, fuel cells and batteries), as well as improving existing processes (e.g. chlor-alkali, metal electrowinning, etc.) by a combination of mathematical modeling and experimental validation. Present research projects include carbon-air fuel cells, H2 production by high temperature electrolysis, hollow fibre solid oxide electrolysers, photoelectrochemical H2 generation, electrochemical reduction of CO2 to fuels, and organic electrosyntheses. In 2007, he was awarded the Castner Medal by the Society of Chemical Industry for outstanding contributions to electrochemical engineering, on which he has published widely with more than 40 PhD graduates over 30 years.

Electrochemical Recovery of Metals from Wastes
Electrochemical processes offer elegant, environmentally-benigh, energy-efficient engineering solutions for metal recovery from industrial effluents and wastes and for the treatment of organic-containing waste waters. Electrical energy is used to effect the required chemical change(s) by oxidation reactions at anodes and reduction reactions at cathodes. Examples will be given of (Ag, Au, Cu, Pd, Sn, Pb, etc.) metal recovery from waste electrical and electronicequipment (WEEE) and of platinum and palladium recovery from alumina-supported spent catalysts in (near) closed loop processes, in which the aqueous electrolyte solutions are recycled. Depending on purity requirements for their re-use, the metals/alloys may then be electro-refined. Hence, the overall process involves inputting electrical energy to move the metals from waste to cathode(s) and, in principle, additionally produces only de-metallised supports for further processing.

Dr Lim Teik-Thye completed his PhD in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 1997. He joined NTU in 2000 and is currently an associate professor in the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and the research coordinator for the Environmental Chemistry & Materials Group of NEWRI. Dr Lim has supervised graduate research projects in the fields of nanotechnology for water pollution control, advanced oxidation technologies, residues treatment and reuse, geoenvironmental engineering, and oil spill cleanup. He has recently developed hybrid physical-chemical treatment techniques for removing the recalcitrant organics from water and wastewater.

Advanced Wastewater Reclamation towards Achieving Zero-Liquid Discharge
Water reclamation using reverse osmosis (RO) is gaining popularity in wastewater management across various industry sectors. Nevertheless, ecologically sound disposal of the RO concentrate is a persistent challenge both technically and economically, especially in the land-scarce Singapore. Meanwhile, the aggravating water shortage, raising water tariff, and increasingly stringent water pollution regulations are global trends which press on wastewater dischargers to maximise wastewater reclamation and reuse. Wastewater reclamation often entails high energy and chemical consumption. The overarching goal is to realise zero-liquid discharge through sustainable wastewater management. This talk will address the issues pertaining to removal of the two main constituents in the wastewater effluents, the organics or COD and total dissolved solids. A range of physical and chemical treatment technologies, including separation processes and advanced oxidation processes will be reviewed and compared. A greener, more sustainable technique to remove the recalcitrant organics will be introduced and elaborated.    

Dr Huang Zhaohongreceived his PhD from National University of Singapore. He joined SIMTech in 1995. Since then, he has been engaged in surface engineering, rapid prototyping and tooling, thin film electronic devices by Physical Vapour Deposition, and micro-fabrication by photolithography and electrochemical processes. Currently he is a research scientist in Surface Technology Group and the team leader of electrochemical processing. His research team is currently focusing on electrochemical processes and their industrial applications for green energy, high precision engineering, and solid/liquid waste treatments.

Electrochemical Treatment of High Concentration Organic Wastewater
Large amount of concentrated organic wastewaters is generated from various industrial operations in pharmaceutical, textile, paper making, printing and dying, oil and gas companies. Treatment of such concentrated organic wastewater is a challenging issue. The widely used biological processes are ineffective for treatment of wastewater with lower BOD/COD ratio than 0.5 due to the presence of toxic and bio-refractory organic substances. Researchers have explored many approaches with physical, chemical, electrochemical and photocatalytic processes and concluded that, although no technology can compete with biological method in terms of cost effectiveness, some processes could be in good complement with the biological processes to provide a total solution. Electrochemical techniques are among such promising complementary options. In this presentation, electrochemical treatment of organic wastewater will be reviewed. In particular, the recent progress in anode material development for electrochemical oxidation of organic wastewater will be addressed.

Who Should Attend
Researchers, R&D managers and engineering staff with special focus on wet chemical processing technology.  

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