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​NEWRI-R3C Sharing Session​ (​NRSS) Season 8

Published on: 22-Nov-2019


  1. To improve skills on public​ speaking, questions handling and preparation of presentation aids (contents/formats/illustrations) for all R3Cians.
  2. To update research progress, increase awareness of R3Cians as ambassadors representing NTU-NEWRI-R3C and promote bonding as a cohesive research group.
  3. To promote interdisciplinary learning, discover opportunity in the interfaces between disciplines/projects and encourage cooperation in research proposals + TD/patents development.



Session 10​: 27 March 2020, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Dr Naziah Binte Mohamad Latiff (Research Fellow)

Naziah binte Mohamad Latiff.JPG

Title: Electrochemical CO2 Reduction Reaction: Effects of Different Carbon Supports


Electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide is a promising solution to our environmental problems. Not only does it enable reduction of CO2 in our atmosphere, valuable chemicals such as hydrogen, ethanol and ethylene can be produced. However, much progress is still required before actual commercialization, especially in the area of catalyst development. In this presentation, the effects of different carbon supports for metal-carbon hybrid catalysts will be explored.



Session 9​: 13 March 2020, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​ (Cancelled)

Speaker 1: NA

Title: NA





Session 8​: 28 February 2020, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Ms Lu Xuhong (Research Scholar)

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Title: Visual and Spectroscopic Identification of Microplastics in Municipal Solid Waste Samples


Dumpsites and landfills contain huge amounts of spatially concentrated waste plastics for an infinite period. Waste plastics are susceptible to weathering and fragmentation which result in microplastics (MPs) that remain in the environment and almost impossible to clean up. Prior to land disposal, most waste plastics have been exposed to sunlight ultraviolet (UV) radiation, moisture intrusion, elevated temperature, mechanical stress, and may be stained by organic solvent and corrosive liquid. These exposures initiate and accelerate the weathering and fragmentation processes of waste plastics. However, the detection methods and available measurements on MPs occurrences in landfills are lacking. In this study, we separate and characterize MPs in environmental solid samples by density-based extraction and filtration followed by selective fluorescent staining using Nile Red. The dried solid samples were mixed with saturated sodium chloride solution, and the supernatant was subsequently filtered by cellulose acetate membrane filters with a pore size of 0.45μm and digested with 30% hydrogen peroxide. The recovered particles were combined, filtered again, photographed and visually counted. The particles were confirmed by Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR).



Speaker 2: Dr Vida Krikstolaityte (Research Fellow)

Vida Krikstolaityte.png

Title: All-integrating Paper-based Potentiometric Sensors for Ion Analysis: A Review


Potentiometric sensors are oldest, yet mostly used technique for ion concentration determination in environmental, clinical and foodstuff sample analysis. Their applicability is justified by their relatively cheap and compact design and, most importantly, by the ability to perform quick and easy analysis. In real-life situations, where samples such as wet soil (environmental), wounds (clinical), and fruits (foodstuff), contain high solid content with only limited amount of a liquid, sample collection within a adsorptive substrate is necessary prior the analysis. Paper as a substrate is of a great interest since it has various advantages, such as being easily available, inexpensive, capable of absorbing and percolating fluids by capillarity action, lightweight, easy to transport, disposable and biodegradable. In order to further miniaturize potentiometric sensors for on-site applications, conventional solid-contact electrodes are accordingly replaced by thin-film electrodes, deposited directly on the paper substrate, designing so-called all-integrating paper-based potentiometric sensor. During the presentation I will introduce to recent research advances in (i) paper-based sampling, (ii) fabrication of ion-selective electrodes, (iii) reference electrodes, and (iv) paper-based potentiometric devices. In the end, I will conclude with further research directions towards developing end-user sensors.



Session 7​: 14 February 2020, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Dr Wu Duo (Research Fellow)

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Title: Operation Status of WtE Research Facility


A brief update on the operation status of Waste-To-Energy Research Facility.



Session 6​: 31 January 2020, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Mr Syed Saqline (Research Scholar)

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Title: CLC in Future Design of Solid Fuel Power Plants


There is an ever increasing need to reduce the carbon footprint of the world and limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Around half of the global emissions of CO2 are from the electricity and heat generation sector. It is therefore useful to look for better ways to use carbonaceous fuels and reduce their impact ecologically. Chemical looping combustion is a third generation carbon capture technique in which solid mixed oxides are used to avoid the contact of fuel with air and inherently avoid the dilution of flue gas. This study focuses on developing a future design for solid fuel (e.g., coal, biomass) powered plant which will be equipped with carbon capture and storage facilities as well as employing advanced steam cycle technologies to increase net electrical output per unit of fuel. ASPEN Plus V10.0 is used to simulate the models and perform sensitivity analysis involving key parameters, while pinch analysis is executed to achieve thermal integration of the various units. The outcome is to draw comparisons between the conventional methods used currently and possible future designs which, as results suggest, perform better in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impact.



Speaker 2: Mr Kumaran S/O Tamilselvam (Research Assistant)

Kumaran SO Tamilselvam.JPG

Title: SgEC Project – CCSU with Wastes


A brief introduction to a new project on carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCSU) with wastes. Chemical looping process for carbonation and calcination of IBA to produce pure CO2 and the integrated carbonation of IBA and seawater desalination brine for the reduction of CO2 emission will be illustrated.



Session 5​: 17 January 2020, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Mr Wang Mengjing (Research Scholar)

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Title: Low-dose Exposure to Environmental Chemical Inhibites LPS Protection Against Asthma


The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Gram-negative bacteria, a potent innate immune activator, is highly prevalent in our gut and environment and can trigger inflammation and metabolic diseases. However, early and gestational exposure to LPS is beneficial to the establishment of the immune system and confers protection against immune diseases. Meanwhile, human beings are increasingly exposed to various environmental chemicals. The links between their exposure and the development of immune-diseases have been reported in many human cohort and animal studies. LPS usually co exists with environmental chemicals in indoor dust, as well as in human gastrointestinal fluid and serum. In spite of the postulation that the interplay between microbes and environmental chemicals may play a critical role in educating the immune system, there is little evidence that can substantiate this hypothesis. Here we demonstrated for the first time that many ubiquitous and autoimmunity-relevant environmental chemicals at low micromolar or nanomolar level effectively neutralize LPS derived from either house dust or gut microbiota, thereby inhibiting the immune stimulatory activity of LPS both in vitro and in vivo. LPS neutralization of bisphenol A is discovered through the concomitant binding with its antigen and lipid A moiety. Most importantly, a chemical cocktail, either isolated from dust or artificially mixed at human serum level, also significantly affects LPS immunostimulatory activity, strongly substantiating the natural existence of such a relationship. Furthermore, BPA inhibits LPS early immune protection in mouse asthma model, suggesting the physiological relevance of this neutralization mechanism towards disease. In summary, our findings expand the “hygiene hypothesis” that immunity is mediated through both microbial exposure and a complex interplay between environmental chemicals and microbes.



Speaker 2: Dr Zhao Ke (Research Fellow)

Zhao Ke.jpg

Title: A Novel Carbon Nanotube Modified Laccase Biosensor for Rapid Electrochemical Detection of 4-methylphenol (p-cresol)


A p-cresol biosensor was developed on the basis of screen-printed carbon electrode (SPCE), modified by laccase (LAC) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The biosensor has been successfully applied for the rapid detection of p-cresol in real samples under the interference of certain substances such as some metal ions and other organics. The quantification results were in good agreement with the results of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis.



Session 4​: 3 January 2020, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Mr Zhang Jun Ming (Research Scholar)

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Title: Mechanochemical Treatment in Metal/Carbide Catalysts for High Hydrogen Peroxide Electro-production


The hydrogen peroxide electrosynthesis has been a hot topic in electrochemistry, due to its environmentally friendly procedure. This work explored simple method to load noble metal on TiC through mechanic ball milling. Results show a high selectivity towards 2e- transfer on this catalysts with high production rate of hydrogen peroxide. Spectroscopic characterizations confirmed a strong metal substrate interaction (SMSI) between the metal particles and the TiC substrate, in which the electron transfer from TiC to metal gives a weaker adsorption towards intermediates, leading to a high selectivity.



Session 3​: 20 December 2019, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Ms Ding Ruiyu (Research Scholar)

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Title: Different Substrates Investigated in Microfluidic Sampling Coupled with ISEs for Ion Sensing


Heavy metals can have serious effcts on environments, further leading to damage to animals, plants and humanbeing. For clinically relevent metal ions, and human health. Microfluidic sampling coupled with ISEs have been applied for ion concentration determination in low volume and high solid-to-liquid ratio environmental and clinical samples. In this study, 4 difference substrates were investigaed and compared in microfluidic sampling coupled with ISEs for both heavy metal and clinically relevent ions detection. The sorption of heavy metal and clinically relevent ions were also studied.



Speaker 2: Dr Piyarat Weerachanchai (Research Fellow)


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Title: Improvement of Power Generation by Oxygen-Enhanced Waste-to Energy Incineration: Literature Review


It has known that conventional Waste to Energy (WTE) processes have low net energy efficiency of power production. This is mainly due to low heating value of waste, instability of combustion and unfavorable steam conditions. To overcome these issues, it requires a highly complex process; generally, excess air and auxiliary fuel to regulate and complete the combustion process are applied. Oxygen-enriched gas (OEG) can be a solution to improve power generation efficiency as it gives wider range for controlling combustion stability, higher waste destruction efficiency, reduced heat loss to flue gas exiting boiler chamber, etc. For this presentation, benefits and issues of OEG application, combustion stability and controlling, improved efficiency of power generation by OEG combustion will be discussed.



Session 2​: 6 December 2019, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Ms Dara Khairunnisa Binte Mohamed (Research Scholar)

Dara Khairunnisa Binte Mohamed.jpg

Title: HBr Poisoning on Nickel-based Catalysts during Steam and Dry Reforming of Naphthalene


With the use of organobromides as flame retardants in consumer products such as plastics, textiles, electronics, and furniture, the gasification of bromide-containing MSW would likely generate HBr as a syngas impurity. It is unknown whether the HBr present has an effect on the activity of Nickel catalysts used in the removal of tar from syngas. In this study, the effect of HBr on the catalytic activity of a commercial Ni-alumina catalyst used in the steam and dry reforming of tar, using naphthalene as a model tar compound, was investigated. HBr of different concentrations were used to determine the poisoning effect and deactivation of the catalyst. The deactivation of the Ni-alumina catalyst due to HBr poisoning was also compared to that of HCl. The effect of HBr poisoning on a commercial Ni-mixed metal oxide catalyst as well as a previously developed nanospindle Ni-alumina catalyst was also investigated.



Speaker 2: Dr Saptak Rarotra (Visiting Scientist)

Saptak Rarotra.JPG

Title: Continuous Synthesis of ZIF-67 inside Microheater Reactors with Tunable Particle Size for Environmental Applications


The continuous synthesis of the zeolite imidazolate frameworks ZIF-67 is described here using Cobalt (II) nitrate (Co(NO3)2•6H2O) metal ions, (HMe-Im, 97%) and triethylamine (TEA, 99.5%) as an organic linker employing micro heater reactors which provides controlled mass flow conditions. Structural analysis is confirmed using various characterization techniques. Using the T-shaped microfluidic channel connected with an insitu nichrome bounded wire heater, crystalline ZIF-67 with decent product characteristics and reproducibility is produced instantaneously. The product is obtained at high production rates. Additionally, by changing the applied current, the temperature inside the micro channel increases. It is possible to intentionally tailor, the microscopic (crystal size) and macroscopic morphology of the product by varying the applied current from the constant DC source.



Session 1​: 22 November 2019, 11.00am to 12.00​p​​m,  NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08​

Speaker 1: Ms Chen Wenqian (Research Scholar)

Chen Wenqian.jpg

Title: Chemical Activation of Carbon-based Materials for Higher Electrochemical Capacitance Performance


Carbon-based materials including activated carbons, carbon nanotubes or graphene nanosheets etc. are promising for a variety of sustainable energy applications including electrode materials in supercapacitors or H2 storage etc. Chemical activation has been proven to be a promising technique to achieve these goals. Among various chemical reagents, KOH is widely used since it can result in higher micropore volume and thus higher eletrochemical capacitance performance.

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