Resource Recovery and Circular Economy
Turning waste to valuable resources is a key research focus at NERI. This is one of the ways to conserve our natural resources and to achieve sustainable circular economy.
NERI researchers have been conducting R&D in resource recovery technologies in tandem with life-cycle assessment to develop processes and recovered products that are more environmentally sustainable. Among these include the recovery of resources such as energy from organics waste, conversion of waste and incineration residues to high value products, and reuse of plastic waste in roads. The R&D approach involves engagement of the different stakeholders in the life-cycle for successful adoption and implementation outcomes.
Sustainable Detoxification of Heavy Metals
In 2020, around 603 tonnes of waste were sent daily to Semakau Landfill, Singapore’s only landfill. In this research, the project team is developing a process to reduce the amount of waste earmarked for the landfill, and at the same time reconstruct valuable products from it.
Food Waste to Resources
Increasing amounts of disposed food waste are posing environmental problems in megacities. In Singapore, food waste accounts for nearly 25% of solid waste disposed. This project aims to provide a sustainable alternative to managing food waste in Singapore. Other than reducing the amount of wastes being disposed, the decentralised model of this treatment system eliminates the need for tipping fee and also generates renewable energy and resources for use within the community. Participation of the public through this project will also raise environmental awareness of citizens and therefore promote sustainable practices and standards in Singapore.
Waste Plastics on Roads: Building a Circular Economy
Use of waste plastics on roads today is highly localised and many urban cities have yet to fully embrace this concept. NERI has initiated research on waste plastics on roads and looking into solutions to overcome challenges on its implementation in urban cities. The outcome would mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of plastic waste and to provide more sustainable circular economy.
Waste is not a Waste but a Misplaced Resource
– Turning Wastes into Resources for Civil and Environmental Applications
Incineration ash is detoxified through chemical methods and explored for use as construction material through suitable tests such as physical (size & porosity testing), chemical (elemental content), mechanical (strength) and leaching (for toxicity testing). Carbon black waste from industries is used as building block to make porous sorbent for selective removal of oils and organic substances from water.