The Public Utility Board of Singapore (PUB) has announced that it will invest in expanded research into the potential application of the innovative wastewater treatment method developed by the international winners of the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize.
Luigi Marshall Cham, Jun Yong Nicholas Lim and Tian Ting Carrie-Anne Ng from Anderson Junior College (AJC), Singapore, developed a method where bentonite clay is used to remove 99% non-ionic surfactants, soap-like additives used in industrial and household detergents, without the generation of any waste products. Their innovation provides a potential alternative to current techniques used to treat these common pollutants which produce hazardous sludge that is difficult and dangerous to dispose of.
Today, PUB is working with Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Environmental and Water Technology Centre of Innovation and will invest USD 42,500 to refine the students’ tests in a new trial. Where the original project was only able to experiment with laundry waste water, PUB will provide Ngee Ann Polytechnic with actual industrial waste water and allow them to test its capacities to remove other pollutants from different industries. Researchers also hope that they can develop a system that can be installed at industrial laundromats to help Singapore re-use more water, as well as create smaller cartridges that families can add to their washing machines to lower the use of detergents.