SANTA CLARA, Calif., and SINGAPORE -- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and Nanyang Technological University today announced they are collaborating on the development of new solutions for the biological treatment of wastewater. In this collaboration, the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), which leads NTU's efforts in water research, will use Agilent's bio-analytical instruments to study the impact of microorganisms, or microbes, in wastewater treatment.
Under a memorandum of understanding, Agilent and NTU will work on two initial projects. The first is to develop a real-time monitoring system for wastewater treatment that can provide early warning of any failure or breakdown in the treatment process as well as provide accurate data. The second project is to explore a less energy-intensive water treatment method by exploiting microorganisms for wastewater treatment. The goal is to develop a portable, low-cost analytical kit for use in developing countries.
Scientists and engineers from NEWRI aim to gain a better understanding of microbes capable of degrading various materials so as to harness them for wastewater and waste treatment. For example, when the behavior of microbes is better understood, a solution can be found to the problem of microbes interacting and competing with one another, which hinders the recovery of energy during wastewater treatment.
On the significance of the collaboration, professor Ng Wun Jern, dean of NTU's College of Engineering and executive director of NEWRI, said that new technologies in bio-treatment processes have to be developed continuously to address a growing diversity of anthropogenic contaminants, reduce the carbon footprint of wastewater treatment, and better recover energy and other resources.
'Agilent's advanced bio-analytical techniques will allow us to develop a database of contaminants found in wastewater, including exotic or newly discovered ones and compounds that ironically may be generated during the treatment,' said professor Ng. 'This will help us monitor microbial metabolic activity and treatment performance in terms of removing various organic compounds. With the new specialized database, we will be better able to overcome the challenges now facing us in biological wastewater treatment processes.'
Professor Ng is one of the world's top 30 water scientists, according to Lux Research, a leading global water research institute.
'Agilent has been assisting researchers and developing environmental solutions for more than 40 years,' said Agilent's Rod Minett, general manager of Life Sciences in the South Asia Pacific and Korea region. 'By working with NTU and NEWRI, one of Asia's foremost water and environment research institutes, we hope to help develop highly sensitive and reliable methods for wastewater processing.'
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore's science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.
About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics, electronics and communications. The company's 20,600 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had revenues of $6.8 billion in fiscal 2013. Information about Agilent is available at www.agilent.com.
On Sept. 19, 2013, Agilent announced plans to separate into two publicly traded companies through a tax-free spinoff of its electronic measurement company. The separation is expected to be completed in early November 2014.