IN recognition of his research effort and contribution to Energy and Sustainability, Associate Professor Chua Kian Jon Ernest, from NUS Mechanical Engineering, was conferred the ‘IChemE Energy Award 2017’ on 19 October 2017.
NUS Mechanical Engineering Researcher wins IChemE Energy Award 2017
Assoc Prof Chua and his team have developed a new approach that leads to the liberation of hydrogen and oxygen from waste-water in a remarkably energy efficient manner. It consists of a triangular hybrid set-up comprising electrolysis, photocatalysis and photovoltaic cells. The implementation of such a hybrid system increases not only the hydrogen and oxygen production rate, but employs the least energy, hence making the method truly renewable and sustainable.
The oxygen and hydrogen produced are harvested and applied to evolve an Advanced Air Treatment System (ATS). The ATS – includes an ozone generation system generated from the harvested oxygen – is capable of achieving a dualistic function of air treatment and cleaning of chilled water heat exchanger in air-conditioning systems. The entire ATS is highly sustainable. It employs solar irradiation, PV panels, and rainwater to produce oxygen, which converts to ozone for treating pollutants (such as VOC, formaldehydes, benzene, radon, asbestos), while enriching the supply air with higher oxygen content. In addition, the harvested hydrogen may be employed to generate electricity via fuel cells in order to operate blowers and controlled valves of the ATS.
The team has engineered an innovative and sustainable energy system. It is one that produces hydrogen and oxygen in a highly efficient manner, while utilising the gases to supply power to air conditioning equipment and purify indoor air pollutants.