Energy and Environmental Sustainability Solutions for Megacities - E2S2


This program is a major collaboration between Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), one of the leading universities in China, and National University of Singapore (NUS). This is supported under the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) framework to study sustainable solutions for coupled problems targeted at stressed megacities, and serve as inputs for strategic policy making and near real-time environmental monitoring and response.

E2S2, hosted under NUS Environmental Research Institute (NERI), aims to develop a platform to facilitate the understanding, design, and implementation of infrastructure and sustainability solutions for coupled problems in future cities. It started with two sites of different sizes and complexities, in this case a megacity like Shanghai and a land-scarce city like Singapore. It also proposes to develop capabilities needed in solving coupled problems characteristic of complex city systems. These include sensing, modeling, data mining, systems modeling, carefully designed test bedding systems and adaption, and scalability of coupled solutions to a variety of environments. This will then allow us to adapt solutions to other cities with different complexities and sizes based on a calibrated modeling platform and through subsequent smaller-scale test-bedding.

Leveraging on the achievements of Phase 1, research in Phase 2 is centred upon the theme of the “Sustainable Urban EcoCity”, where there is a significant interlink, or nexus, between the air and water environment with waste, energy and resources within megacities. Phase 2 will focus deeper on the urban environment of the megacity, using solutions and technologies developed in Phase 1 to solve urban challenges in waste and environment that are of major importance to Singapore and Shanghai.

Therefore, E2S2-CREATE will focus on targeting zero wastes through closing of the waste loop, moving from Waste-to-Energy in Phase 1 to Waste-to-Resources in Phase 2, through minimization of waste and conversion to energy, reclamation of resources, and utilization of by-products. For emerging contaminants (ECs), where Phase 1 has enabled us to identify and assess ECs of concern, Phase 2 will focus on detecting and managing critical ECs that give rise to major environmental and health problems, namely algal blooms and anti-microbial resistances.

Eco-Solutions 1 (ES-1): Waste-to-Resource: Eco-Energy System towards Environmental Sustainability

The first Eco-Solutions project focuses on waste-energy-resource-environment nexus in a long-term effort to favour resource, energy and environmental sustainability. Real sustainability can only be achieved if these are all considered simultaneously with the pro-active participation of stakeholders. Our Phase 1 results show that traditional centralised energy and waste treatment systems move stakeholders psychologically and physically away from the real or perceived effects, thus diluting their awareness of handling wastes and energy responsibly for the environment. In Phase 2, we aim to cultivate a culture of energy and environmental conservation by implementing systems that can educate, connect and service stakeholders in existing and new communities and townships. We hope to help achieve the national goals of Singapore and China, in being Zero Waste Nations, where wastes are converted into resources in a circular fashion without the need for inefficient disposal in landfills.

Eco-Solutions 2 (ES-2): Detection, Assessment & Modelling of Emerging Contaminants in the Urban Environment

The second Eco-Solutions project focuses on understanding the risks and impacts of two global issues related to emerging contaminants in urban cities that are increasingly and severely affecting the environment and public health. The core goal is to develop guidelines for their levels in the city before developing measures to control and mitigate their impacts. Outcomes from Phase 1 studies have shown our capabilities to predict the occurrence and fate of many ECs in the environment, in addition to technologies developed in the programme to monitor their presence. Therefore, in Phase 2 we aim to emphasize on real-time or rapid detection methods as an early warning of contamination events and to translate our understanding of the environmental fate and risks of contaminants into models and treatment methods that can help to resolve the problems of emerging contaminants. The context of these issues are highlighted in the two environmental challenges arising due to emerging contaminants, namely algal blooms and antimicrobial resistance.

For a list of papers, patents and conference presentations in Phase 1, please click here

For more information, please visit our CREATE website at:

Contact Person

Assoc. Prof. Tong Yen Wah
E2S2 Programme Co-Director
National University of Singapore
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Blk E5, 4 Engineering Drive 4, #03-15
Singapore 117576
Tel: (65) 6516 8467 Fax: (65) 6779 1936

Ms Wang Bingfang
E2S2 Programme Senior Executive
National University of Singapore
NUS Environmental Research Institute (NERI)
1 Create Way, #15-02, Create Tower
Singapore 138602
Tel: (65) 6601 4061