ITRI’s Liquid Crystal Recycling Breakthrough
 
Oct 18, 2018
Category:

Taiwanese LCD display makers generate large volumes of scrap screens that have been buried in landfills or crushed into pellets for use in construction. But Taiwan’s ITRI has stunned the world by finding a way to bring discarded panels back to life.

“Global liquid crystal suppliers are all really wondering how Taiwan is able to recycle liquid crystals.”

That’s how Sung Hsin-chen, the deputy executive director of the Environmental Protection Administration’s Recycling Fund Management Board, described the world’s reaction to a recycling breakthrough that could change how LCD (liquid-crystal display) panels are made.

Liquid crystal materials have been around for over a century. Big multinationals such as Germany-based Merck Group are now the main producers of liquid crystals and the biggest source of imported raw materials for Taiwan’s LCD manufacturers. But the ability to recycle liquid crystals from discarded flat panels has so far eluded these prominent global suppliers.

It was not until last year that the answer to the riddle finally surfaced in the form of an “LCD Waste Recycling System” developed by the government-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute. It was cast in the spotlight by winning an R&D 100 Award, known as the “Oscars of Innovation.”

The system extracts liquid crystals from discarded panels for reuse in the production process, which can save a panel manufacturer more than NT$1 billion in new raw material costs a year.

The nearly 100 percent recovery of the liquid crystals also transforms the panel’s glass substrate into a new usable material, easing the burden on landfills and lowering the risk of water pollution from scrap LCD screens.

Now, the complete panel, from the glass on the outside to the liquid crystals on the inside, can be recycled, which for Taiwan has increased the value and usefulness of screens that have been consigned to garbage dumps.

That’s a big deal when one considers how much electronic waste is produced. In 2016, the world generated 44.7 million metric tons of electronic waste, or about 4,500 Eiffel Towers, and only 20 percent of that was recycled through appropriate channels, according to a United Nations report.

Taiwan is the world’s third largest producer of LCD panels – a key component in many electronic products – and generates about 8,000 metric tons of waste panels a year. Beyond simply burying them, the only recycling option for them in the past, and one with limited economic value, was to crush them and use the waste glass as a building material.

“The yield rate of our [panel plants] is the highest in the world. We have very good technology. But when it came to figuring out how to handle discarded panels, we initially had no idea of how to proceed,” admits Hung Huan-yi, deputy director of ITRI’s Material and Chemical Research Laboratories.

In particular, liquid crystals have been critical to the evolution of panel technology, and Taiwan has long been dependent on imports of the material. At a price of about US$5 per gram, panel suppliers in Taiwan spend nearly NT$30 billion a year to buy the material from Merck Group and other big suppliers.

Two Birds with One Stone: Economical and Eco-friendly

The 10-person team led by Hung researched the waste recycling technology for more than 10 years to help resolve the industry’s pain points. The team’s starting point consisted of two questions: “Is there a way to recycle liquid crystals?” and “How can it be done to strengthen productivity and be environmentally friendly?

Hung recalls visiting a major flat panel producer at the time, and R&D staff took to him to a room with shelves stacked with unusable liquid crystal material that had been accumulated over many years.

“Its value alone was more than NT$2 billion,” he estimates.

Liquid crystal materials only account for around 3 percent of an LCD display’s production costs, but if they can be recycled and re-introduced into the process, it can directly reduce the amount display makers have to spend on new materials while also solving solid waste handling problems. In other words, killing two birds with one stone.

That motivated ITRI to study how to recycle and reuse scrap liquid crystal displays, but it immediately ran into problems.

“We needed at least three to five years to make breakthroughs for each type of technology required,” recalls Lu Chien-wei, a researcher in ITRI’s Material and Chemical Research Laboratories.

Recycling Different Liquid Crystals a Problem

Lu says there are two main sources at present for recyclable liquid crystals – defective panels from the production line and waste electronic products, such as those with LCD screens. An LCD panel may be only a few millimeters thick, but it consists of at least 10 kinds of materials, meaning that once the panel’s two glass substrates are split apart, other materials have to be eliminated before the liquid crystals can be extracted.

That extraction technology alone took the ITRI nearly 10 years to develop.

Once the material has been extracted, the next step is “purifying” it, a challenge that even the big liquid crystal suppliers doubted could be overcome because of the variety of materials involved.

Dick Hsieh, the managing director of Merck Group Taiwan, explains that liquid crystal materials are usually customized because they are used in different combinations for panels of different specifications. To meet those requirements, Merck Group sells more than 100 types of liquid crystals, each with distinct compositions.

“So to recycle all of those materials together and then treat them so they can be reused is basically really difficult,” especially considering that the higher a screen’s resolution, the higher the purity of the liquid crystals required, Hsieh says.

To tackle this “mission impossible,” ITRI researchers resorted to distillation, adsorption and filtering to remove impurities from the extracted liquid crystals, hoping to elevate the material’s level of impurities to “parts per billion” (ppb). It set a goal for impurities not to exceed 1 ppb.

As liquid crystal formulas were changing to meet more exacting flat panel specifications, the ITRI’s purification technology had to grow even more sophisticated. By using a “repeated verification” approach, ITRI has been able to identify different types of liquid crystals and blend them together into products that meet the needs of panel manufacturers.

“That’s the reason nobody overseas has been able to do this yet,” Lu says.

Though developing a technology can be difficult, having it reach beyond the laboratory can be even more challenging. ITRI’s Hung admitted that even though the process had been developed over many years and received related patents, panel manufacturers were initially unwilling to use it.

“We had to rely on our industry contacts and ask them to give us a hand by letting us try [the technology] out,” Hung says.

Panel makers were reluctant to take the plunge because of the irreparable harm they could suffer if using the recycled liquid crystal material resulted in quality problems. To verify the technology, they also had to stop their production lines, not an appealing prospect.

“A production line’s capacity is about NT$60 million a day. Who is willing to take that risk?” Hung says.

Just to get the process into a factory on a trial basis took a year, but once one company adopted it, others were willing to follow.

One of Taiwan’s two biggest LCD display producers, Innolux Corporation, formally signed an agreement with the ITRI last year that will pave the way for the ITRI’s waste processing system to be installed in its nine factories in Tainan within two years. The necessary equipment is now being built.

By extracting and reusing liquid crystals, the technology is expected to save Innolux hundreds of millions of Taiwan dollars a year in procurement costs, and it will make the production process more eco-friendly. Recycled scrap panels will no longer contain toxic liquid crystal material that has made buried panels a pollution threat.

At present, the system can treat 1,000 metric tons of discarded LCD displays a year. The leftover waste glass can be used as a nanoporous adsorbent capable of removing heavy metals from wastewater and soil, a departure from the more traditional coagulation and sedimentation approach. The method is currently being tested in the electroplating section of the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park on a trial basis.

“This proves that we can not only recycle and reuse waste materials but also solve other people’s pollution problems, putting the concept of ‘urban mining’ into practice,” says the EPA’s Sung.

The development is favorable for flat panel makers because of the money they can save, and Merck Group’s Hsieh sees it as making perfect sense from his customers’ perspective.

“From an environmental point of view, you don’t want to waste anything. Every little bit of liquid crystal material represents a cost, so the ability to recycle it is of course beneficial to the companies,” Hsieh says.

Though the technology could cut into Merck Group’s raw material sales, Hsieh said it has not had much of an affect so far, and his company will continue to work with panel makers in creating new technologies and applications and provide products that meet their needs.

Good Technology Benefiting the World

The ITRI’s technology is creating new value for discarded screens once treated as garbage, giving it value even in places where LCD displays are not widely manufactured. The ITRI has started to export its technology to the United States to help companies there extract liquid crystals from used panels and enable the waste glass to have more uses, hoping that this more environmentally friendly approach can solve a growing electronics waste problem.

“Although the direct beneficiaries seem to be Taiwanese flat panel makers, in the bigger picture, human beings and the environment are also beneficiaries because a source of waste and pollution has been reduced,” Hung says.

In an age of increasingly sophisticated electronic products and shorter product life cycles, finding better ways to recycle and reuse materials has become a pressing issue around the world, and Taiwan, as a big producer of LCD displays and semiconductors, is no exception.

The growing volume of smart devices permeating daily life will create even greater amounts of waste in the future, and if Taiwan can find ways to break through technology barriers and develop viable recycling systems, it will inevitably emerge as a good business and good optics for the country.

Developer: Material and Chemical Research Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute
Factories Using It: Innolux Corporation and others
Technology Used: Extracting liquid crystals from discarded flat panel displays and recycling and reusing them in the production process, saving costs
Impact: Recycling 1,000 metric tons of discarded panels a year will help panel makers save more than NT$1 billion on purchases of new liquid crystal material.

By Laura Kang
Translated from the Chinese Article by Luke Sabatier
Edited by Shawn Chou

 
 
Veolia Wins Contract to Complete Renewal of Water Mains for Goulburn Valley Water in Northern Victoria
 
Oct 16, 2018
Category:

Melbourne, October 16, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Veolia Water Technologies Australia is proud to announce its latest contract with Goulburn Valley Water in Northern Victoria. Spanning three years, the contract program for the renewal of water mains will be managed by Veolia’s Network Services Division. Having recently delivered two successful water and sewer infrastructure projects for Goulburn Valley Water, Veolia expects to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations with this contract.

“With our rich expertise in trenchless technology and local knowledge, we are able to provide the most suitable solution to address and minimize the concerns of the community and client,” said Ziad Bushnaq, Market Development Manager, Veolia Water Technologies Australia. “These works will assist Goulburn Valley Water in managing the standard of water services delivered to the community, including quality and continuous supply. Through the technology proposed, any impact on the environment will also be reduced for the duration of the project.”

In addition to the renewal of water mains, Veolia will also work together with Goulburn Valley Water on its valve insertion program, which will help to reduce the effects of future water main failures throughout the region.

“Veolia and Goulburn Valley Water have developed a good working relationship on recent water and sewer infrastructure projects, and we look forward to continue growing this relationship by working together on our water main renewal projects over the next three years,” said Tyson Coombes, Project Engineer of Goulburn Valley Water.

For more information, visit www.veoliawatertechnologies.com.au.

###

Notes to the Editor

About Veolia

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 169,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.

In 2017, the Veolia group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 55 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 47 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environment (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25.12 billion in 2017.

For media enquiries on Veolia, please contact:

Ms Gena Ang
Senior Account Executive
Red Bug Communications
+65 6222 7376
gena@redbugpr.com

Ms Lainee Wong
Marketing & Communications Director – Asia Pacific
Veolia Water Technologies
+603 2264 1818
lainee.wong@veolia.com

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

 
 
Energy-saving Products and Green Tech at Eco Expo Asia
 
Oct 09, 2018
Category:

9 October 2018 – Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, and co-organised by the Environment Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, the 13th edition of Eco Expo Asia will run from 25 to 28 Oct at AsiaWorld-Expo, featuring some 330 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions.

Groups from the Chinese mainland’s Hunan, Zhaoqing and Inner Mongolia will participate for the first time, joining 13 international pavilions to showcase the latest green technologies. In line with the government’s efforts to push the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, various cities will gather in the Greater Bay Area Zone to present local green opportunities. The Environment Bureau will cooperate with different government departments to form an HKSAR Government booth, the largest zone at the expo, to promote environmental policies and a range of green projects.

“We are currently facing a range of environmental challenges across the globe,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “The business sector and governments across Asia have been actively promoting waste reduction and energy saving. As Asia’s leading innovative technology hub, Hong Kong can provide the latest solutions for carbon reduction and drive the region’s development of the environmental industry through events such as Eco Expo Asia, bringing together a wide array of innovative green products and technologies.”

Mr Chau noted that there are plenty of business opportunities in the green market. According to the government’s Census and Statistics Department, the value added by Hong Kong’s environmental industry in 2016 was HK$8.4 billion, growing 6.7% year on year. Statistics also showed that investment in the environmental sector on the Chinese mainland, including environmental pollution control, waste management and energy-saving, is projected to exceed Rmb$15 trillion during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.

Commenting on the importance of Eco Expo Asia, Alice Cheung, Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Department, said she hopes the event will enhance cooperation and exchange between the government and industry players, promote the enormous opportunities in Asia, encourage the business sector and government departments to conduct green sourcing, and help to raise public awareness on environmental issues.

Nine Thematic Zones: Startup Zone Showcases Innovative Green Technology

To promote waste-reduction awareness among businesses and the public, Eco Expo Asia has adopted a new theme this year – “Waste Less Save More for a Low-carbon Future”. The expo will feature nine thematic zones, including Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency, Green Transportation, Waste Management and Recycling and the Startup zone, presenting a comprehensive range of green products and technologies.

An increasing number of start-up companies are being attracted to invest in research and development in green products and technologies. The expo’s Startup Zone will feature products from 20 fledgling companies, offering them a prime opportunity to connect with potential investors and business partners. Some of the start-up products and technologies were showcased at today’s Eco Expo Asia press conference, with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) highlighting its patented innovative soundproofing metamaterials that outperforms traditional soundproofing material such as sponge and rock wool. This pioneering technology is highly effective in blocking sound in adverse conditions and can be applied to power generation and energy systems, transportation and household appliances.

Green Transportation Zone: Ready and Charged for a Test Drive/Ride

One of the hottest environmental trends is the development of green transportation that will help to reduce exhaust emissions and carbon footprint. Several eco-vehicles and charging devices will be on display at the expo, including the Nissan e-NV200 electric car that is equipped with a 40kWh high-capacity lithium battery offering 80% chargeability in 40 minutes. Hyundai’s second-generation commercial hydrogen fuel cell electric car, Nexo, will also be presented at the expo. The model is the first hydrogen fuel cell electric SUV to be showcased in Hong Kong, with a drive distance of over 600 kilometres and a five-minute fuel fill time.

Visitors can enjoy a test drive or test ride of the electric vehicles at the expo. For registration, please visit the expo’s website (https://bit.ly/2RsVGJK) or queue on-site.

Eco Asia Conference: To Unveil Green Policies and Business Opportunities

The Eco Asia Conference will run concurrently with the expo, bringing together government officials and business leaders from various countries and regions to share their insights on a range of issues. Experts from Australia, Canada and Hong Kong will discuss smart water management solutions and the latest wireless sensor network for metropolitan smart drainage systems. Officials from the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Industry & Information Technology and Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China, together with other mainland officials, will share the country’s latest green policies and initiatives to prevent water pollution in the pan-Pearl River Delta region. In addition, the Hong Kong Construction Association and the Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics will organise the “Smart Construction for Quiet” Symposium, where experts from the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore will discuss the latest developments in construction noise-control policies and innovative methods for quieter construction.

Green Mart and Workshops on Public Day to Promote Green Living

Eco Expo Asia will open its doors to the public on the last day of the event (28 Oct) to promote green living. Free shuttle bus services will be offered between the venue and other locations in the city throughout the fair period. Visitors can shop for innovative environmentally friendly products and health products at the Green Mart, and join sustainable workshops to make frosted glass jar lamps. The Start Small, Start Now documentary, which highlights Hong Kong’s plastic-waste problem, will also premiere on Public Day. At the Public Day Forum, a representative from the Hong Kong Observatory will assess the impact of global warming on Hong Kong while a Water Supplies Department representative will share tips on smart water usage.

The concurrent Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo (26-29 Oct) at the AsiaWorld-Expo will showcase outdoor lighting, industrial lighting, advertising lighting, lighting accessories, parts and components for construction design. In addition, the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition) will be held from 27-30 Oct at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), creating synergy and more business opportunities for exhibitors.

Fair Website
Eco Expo Asia: www.ecoexpoasia.com/tc

Media Enquiries

Please contact the HKTDC’s Communication and Public Affairs Department:

Christine Kam Tel: (852) 2584 4514 Email: christine.kam@hktdc.org

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

 
 
Sydney Water Chooses Veolia Hydrotech™ Drumfilter Technology
 
Oct 07, 2018
Category:

Sydney, October 5, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Veolia Water Technologies Australia is pleased to announce the award of a contract for the design, supply, and commissioning of 20 Hydrotech™ Drumfilters for mechanical primary treatment at two of Sydney Water’s treatment plants — St Mary’s Water Recycling Plant and Quakers Hill Water Recycling Plant — in New South Wales. The upgrade is part of Sydney Water’s Lower South Creek Treatment Program.

With a move towards energy recovery and energy efficiency in wastewater plant design around the world, the first step of primary separation has become very important for two reasons — a higher TSS removal in the primary step reduces the load on the secondary treatment process (reducing power requirements and operating costs) and increased amounts of primary sludge entering the downstream sludge treatment or biogas recovery stages (such as digestion and/or thermal hydrolysis) will increase energy recovery.

This project continues the excellent experience Veolia has gained over the last 10 years in utilising Hydrotech™ Drumfilters for primary separation. The small footprint technology allows excellent TSS removal (up to 80% for this project depending on influent wastewater quality) combined with the ability to cope with highly fluctuating flows in terms of both quality and capacity. The high-quality stainless steel Hydrotech™ Filters combined with innovative robust PE filter panels guarantees an efficient, low maintenance, robust, and flexible primary separation step.

Sydney Water is Australia’s largest water and wastewater service provider. Every day, they supply water, wastewater, recycled water, and some stormwater services to more than five million people in Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains regions.

###

About Veolia

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 169,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.

In 2017, the Veolia group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 55 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 47 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environment (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25.12 billion in 2017. www.veolia.com

For media enquiries on Veolia, please contact:

Ms Gena Ang
Senior Account Executive
Red Bug Communications
+65 6222 7376
gena@redbugpr.com

Ms Lainee Wong
Marketing & Communications Director – Asia Pacific
Veolia Water Technologies
+603 2264 1818
lainee.wong@veolia.com

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

 
 
Asia's Plastic Problem Is Choking the World's Oceans. Here's How to Fix It
 
Sep 20, 2018
Category:

Every year 8 million tonnes of discarded plastic ends up in the ocean, and the situation is getting worse. According to a World Economic Forum report, under the current mode and growth of plastic usage, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050.

ASEAN member states are among the world’s biggest sources of plastic pollution. More than half of the plastic waste in the ocean comes from just five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, according to a 2017 report by the Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment.

Every year 8 million tonnes of discarded plastic ends up in the ocean, and the situation is getting worse. A World Economic Forum report estimates that, unless we clean up our act, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050.

Rivers of Plastic

Much of the pollution comes from rivers which carry mismanaged plastic waste to the ocean. A study by scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research found that 90% of ocean plastic originated from only 10 rivers, eight of which are in Asia.

The region’s key waterways all support large populations living nearby who rely on poor – and sometimes nonexistent – waste management systems. Uncollected waste is discarded into rivers which then carry it to the sea.

While cleanup efforts are to be applauded, picking up debris washed ashore on beaches and along coastlines deals with the effect rather than the root cause of the problem.

To combat the rising tide of ocean pollution, we need to work on changing the central role that plastic plays in daily life.

Governments across Asia are waking up to the devastating ecological and financial costs of polluted rivers and oceans. China, the biggest producer of plastic waste, has begun to tackle the problem. In addition to banning waste imports, it has pledged to reach a 35% recycling rate across 46 cities by 2020.

India wants to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022, and has introduced an immediate ban in Delhi.

Other Asian nations, such as Bangladesh, have banned plastic bags, though enforcement has been patchy.

Tackling the Problem at Source

Pointing an accusatory finger at consumers for using too much plastic is like blaming car owners for traffic congestion. If plastic production was decreased there would be less available for people to use.

Just as government policy can restrict the use of plastic products by consumers it can also guide the behaviour of producers.

Imposing taxes and limits on the quantity and type of plastics produced can be an effective way to lower production. Another potential government approach is to provide incentives to encourage producers to develop alternatives to non-biodegradable plastics.

Building and urban planning regulations can also be designed to encourage the use of environmentally-friendly materials.

Increasing recycling rates and reducing the amount of plastic in everyday use are positive first steps, but government policy could go much further. For example, through raising public awareness of the problem and providing alternatives to dumping waste in rivers by creating workable waste collection and management systems.

Of course, organizing and financing effective waste collection is no easy task. Community-based projects have met with success in places like Malaysia, as have private-public partnerships. One option is for governments to pay recycling fees to private firms for collecting plastic waste, and to include incentives to transform it into reusable goods to sell.

Creating a Sustainable Future

Innovation has a central role to play in creating alternatives to plastic, developing circular economy-based solutions and also in finding uses for the mountains of waste that already exist.

Private firms have developed compostable alternatives to plastic packaging that biodegrade quickly, eliminating the problem of debris hanging around for years. A UK firm has taken this idea one step further and produced packaging that can be eaten along with the food inside it. Similarly, an Indonesian startup has produced food wrappers and sachets from seaweed, which can also be consumed.

Numerous small-scale initiatives are being launched each year, some of which can be scaled up to meet regional demand.

Other projects aim to exploit the plentiful, cheap supply of waste plastic. In parts of rural India, workers have constructed more than 34,000 km of roads from shredded plastic waste. As well as having an unusually high resistance to the country’s searing temperatures, each kilometre costs 8% less to construct than conventional roads.

The road scheme creates work for local fishermen who are paid to dredge debris from the ocean and also for plastic pickers on land. Several small privately-owned shredding businesses have also sprung up in the area.

As population growth and industrialization continue across Asia, more demands will be put on its fragile ecosystems. Finding ways to reduce plastic waste, manage it responsibly and encourage the creation of viable alternatives will be key to a sustainable future for the region.

By Johnny Wood
Edited by Shawn Chou

 
 
Solid Waste Management to be discussed by NEMA at East Africa Utilities Conference on September 25
 
Sep 20, 2018
Category:
Tags:

Nairobi, Kenya, 20 September 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) of Kenya will be participating at East Africa Utilities Conference & Exhibition in a bid to highlight and communicate strategies to tackle waste management in various aspects. In addition to solid waste, the conference topics will cover critical subjects including waste-to- energy potentials in East Africa as well as encouraging investment and expanding domestic and international cooperation in the field of waste management. Other important subjects will include transforming East African’s communities to zero-waste society by exploring innovations that could shape the waste management industry.

Experts from Kenya and Africa will be sharing best practices and visionary insights into sustainable waste management, electronic waste management as well as discussing the trends, challenges and opportunities through participatory panel talks. These topics will be covered during the first day of the conference which will start on the 25th of September at the Tzavo Hall of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

Energy and water management will be an indispensable part of the conference’s day 2, where presentations focus will be on water and waste water treatment as well as energy grids in East Africa. Through this day, delegates will have invaluable opportunity to learn more on eco-industrial parks and potentials for distributed power generation and the right energy mix for East Africa’s future. A critical area related to creating such mix is protecting East Africa’s critical power and water infrastructure against cyber-attacks which will be discussed as well during the conference.

These topics and more will be presented by high-level speakers including Mr. Andrew Lomosi, Managing Director of Chevron Africa, Ms. Elizabeth Nahimana, Head of Sanitation Regulation, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), Mr. Fred Ishugah, East African Center of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Efficiency (EACREE), as well as Mr. Fenwicks Musonye, The Energy Regulatory Commission and Mr. Kamal Gupta, Chairman of Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA).

In parallel to the conference, companies will be exhibiting innovative products and technologies for the water, energy and waste industries. Exhibitors includes: Al Babtain Power & Telecom, Al Hilal Industrial Group, G Crystal Plastic Industries S.A.E. International Desalination and Water Treatment Group, Oman Tech, Paschal Technical Services Limited, Shenzen Calinmeter Co. L.T.D, Water & Energy Solutions & Technology.

The exhibition and conference schedule is from the 25th to the 27th of September from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information, contact mary.mogusu@omanexpo.com

East Africa Utilities Expo is organized by Omanexpo, one of the leading exhibition and conference organizers in the Middle East.

###

Contact: Melissa Daleja
T: +968 24660122 / Mobile: +968 99471704
Email: melissa.daleja@omanexpo.com

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

 
 
Veolia Showcases Proven Hydrotech Discfilter Technology for Power Industry at POWER-GEN Asia 2018
 
Sep 18, 2018
Category:

Jakarta, September 18, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Veolia Water Technologies, a leading water and wastewater solutions provider, showcases for the first time in Indonesia its trusted Hydrotech Discfilter technology for the power industry. Veolia’s participation at POWER-GEN Asia 2018 affirms the company’s commitment to provide power companies in the Southeast Asia region with simple and efficient solutions that mitigate their water and wastewater challenges.

“The ever-increasing complexity of wastewater challenges worldwide has influenced power companies to make water management their paramount concern,” Bill Willersdorf, Global Market Director, Power, Veolia Water Technologies. “Veolia’s solutions for water management have been tried and tested, and they empower our partners with more flexibility for customization in order to meet their unique and varied specifications.”

Exhibiting at POWER-GEN Asia 2018 from 18 – 20 September at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition in Jakarta, Veolia is highlighting its Hydrotech Discfilter technology, which has been well-received by the power industry. With over 10 000 installations worldwide, the Hydrotech Discfilter is an ideal choice for cooling water filtration at power plants, and for companies seeking a cost-effective and compact solution for their water management needs. It is a versatile mechanical and self-cleaning filter that offers a large filter area in a small footprint. Equipped with self-cleaning nozzles, the Discfilter eliminates the need for a backwash strainer. In addition, the simple operation and maintenance system also features flexibility in construction materials, and enables water and energy savings. Besides its low installation and operating costs, the Discfilter is available in a variety of models to meet a wide spectrum of flow requirements.

A demo unit of the Hydrotech Discfilter HSF2212-1C will be on display at the Veolia booth.

Commenting on Veolia’s objectives for the trade event, Bill added, “We look forward to reinforcing existing partnerships and cultivating new ones at POWER-GEN Asia this year. Through this platform, we also hope to provide greater clarity for the power industry in its understanding of water and wastewater management, and share how Veolia’s technologies and services can further enhance the effectiveness of water solutions in power plants.”

To learn more about Veolia’s technologies for the power industry, visit Veolia’s Booth P32 at POWER-GEN Asia 2018 or visit  http://www.veoliawatertech.com/asia/Our-Expertise/Industrial/Power/.

###

About Veolia

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 169,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
In 2017, the Veolia group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 55 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 47 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environment (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25.12 billion in 2017.

For media enquiries on Veolia, please contact:

Ms Gena Ang
Senior Account Executive
Red Bug Communications
+65 6222 7376
gena@redbugpr.com

Ms Lainee Wong
Marketing & Communications Director – Asia Pacific
Veolia Water Technologies
+603 2264 1818
lainee.wong@veolia.com

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

 
 
BEX and MCE Asia 2018 accelerate action towards common goal of combating climate action and more sustainable living across Asia
 
Sep 05, 2018
Category:

SINGAPORE – SEPTEMBER 05, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- The Singapore Green Building Week opens its doors today, with its two flagship trade platforms off to a great start. Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia, Southeast Asia’s leading trade exhibition for the region’s green building market, and Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) Asia, a regional HVAC-R, water and energy exhibition, kick off today, offering visitors a glimpse into the array of innovations that will soon become the norm in buildings and spaces of the future.

Taking place from 5 to 7 September, BEX and MCE Asia, along with the annual International Green Building Conference (IGBC), offer a strategic platform for key stakeholders to deliberate on the future of green buildings and sustainable development in the region and globally. Over 12,000 international visitors, including green building industry professionals, thought leaders, policy makers and end-users are expected to congregate at the events to discuss and exchange ideas on the latest innovations that will shape the future of sustainable cities.

Diverse solutions to cater to Asia’s diverse needs

Capturing attention on the show floor this year is Surbana Jurong’s curated showcase, “City of ____”. Depicting the possibilities that technology can bring to future cities, the setup brings to life an environment that integrates sustainable, smart and productive technologies to transform how humans interact with their surroundings. The life-sized urban mock-up will allow visitors to visualise how spaces associated with living, work and play can be reimagined to bring about an improvement in quality of life.

Walking through the simulated city grid, visitors will witness first-hand the benefits offered by DVUCA’s city management system, which enables better traffic monitoring and optimised energy usage. This curated exhibit also showcases how innovative technologies such as (these)abilities’s keyguard will level the playing field at the workplace between the able-bodied and people with disabilities. Aesthetics and functionality are seamlessly weaved into sustainable building practices as showcased by Thinkphi’s solar panel-equipped outdoor umbrellas.

Making innovation in green buildings and energy efficiency the gold standard

Visitors at BEX and MCE Asia 2018 are getting a first look at several innovations to be launched at the events. From industrial applications to commercial buildings and even homes, over 400 exhibitors from 31 countries will provide a comprehensive look into innovations that are continuously advancing the building sector.

Delta Technology is introducing the Insulated Fire Rated Curtain (IFRC), a failsafe double layer curtain that can seal off even the toughest fire outbreaks. Providing up to four hours of fire integrity and insulation, the curtain could potentially save lives in industrial emergencies.

Advancing its ‘Quality Air for Life’ message, Panasonic is showcasing the latest integrated air solutions, which combines air-conditioning and ventilation to improve overall indoor air quality, an important but often overlooked aspect of sustainable living.

To improve hygiene and enhance convenience for users, Dyson’s Airblade Wash+Dry combines a tap and hand dryer. The smart innovation saves space in the washroom while reducing the problem of water dripping on the floor as users move from a handwashing area to a separate hand drying station.

In the home setting, Kruger’s Secomat dehumidifiers help enhance indoor air quality in living spaces by maintaining a constant 40 to 60 per cent relative humidity. In spaces with limited air circulation such as basements and storage rooms, dehumidifiers help to inhibit the growth of mould and bacteria, brought about by the region’s humid and tropical climate.

David Yim, Marketing Manager, AGC Asia Pacific, one of the key exhibitors at BEX 2018, said, “BEX Asia is the ideal platform to nurture interest in green building innovations and an opportunity for us to raise awareness among visitors on technologies that are transforming the built sector. For example, AGC is excited to demonstrate how next-generation electrochromic technology combats glare and solar heat in commercial and residential buildings.”

Aside from the latest in glass products for buildings, AGC will continue to showcase its popular Halio smart-tinting technology that can tint uniformly in less than three minutes when exposed to light. Unlike other smart glass products, Halio looks like conventional glass, but begins tinting within 20 seconds to provide glare protection and block unwanted heat.

Other well-known names in the built environment sector present on the trade floor include Big Ass Fans, Daikin and ebm-papst. In all, BEX and MCE Asia feature pavilions from China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan, and is expected to draw over 12,000 visitors this year over its three-day event.

Seeding future conversations

BEX and MCE Asia feature complimentary seminars, Green View and Mostra Xchange, featuring an exciting line-up of close to 40 industry experts who will lead conversations on various topics that will impact the future direction of the built environment sector. In partnership with supporting industry organisations such as Institute Engineers of Singapore, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and the Indoor Air Quality Association, the seminars showcase a selection of highly curated and qualified sessions on sustainable building solutions, and energy efficiency.

Key sessions and speakers include:

• Lionel Steinitz, CEO, LYS Energy, who will present research on catalysts of green initiatives and the movement toward a low-carbon economy in Southeast Asia

• Anna Kerr, Director at White Arkitekter, the largest architectural firm in Scandinavia, who will discuss diversity and gender equality in urban planning

• Michael Chin, Principal and the Façade and Sustainability Leader from Arup Singapore , who will share successful case studies of green building envelopes and sustainable façade design in tropical regions around the world

• Keith Brewis, Managing Partner, International Operations at Grimshaw, who will share on the emerging use of data in architecture and how it can be creatively used to build iconic structures

BEX Asia and MCE Asia take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, and are also co-located with the annual International Green Building Conference (IGBC). With the theme, "Build Green: Build Smart. Build Communities", IGBC 2018 attracts participants from across the entire building and construction value-chain, committed to understanding and putting into action real-world, tangible and leading green building solutions.

In its next edition, BEX and MCE Asia will be complemented by two new flagship events - Innobuild (IB) Asia and Smart Cities & Buildings (SCB) Asia. Following the successful run of BEX Asia for over a decade and MCE Asia since the last four years, the two events will provide attendees with a richer, more well-rounded experience and further catalyse the innovation and adoption of technology currently available to drive productivity and efficiencies at every stage of the construction cycle.

SCB Asia, which will focus on digital convergence of solutions and technology into the built environment, is a timely addition as nations across the region intensify their efforts on building technologically advanced liveable cities of tomorrow. The role of technology in transforming the building and construction industry will be further underlined with IB Asia, which will look at how companies can tap on productive technologies, equipment and systems to build more efficiently.

“Clearly, as technology advancements disrupt industries across the world, the built environment sector in Asia will not be spared. Nations are also accelerating their journeys to become smart cities, proving that technology is already playing a crucial role in helping to solve today’s urban challenges and securing a sustainable future for generations to come,” commented Michelle Lim, Managing Director, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, Reed Exhibitions. Lim adds, “These events will be an important accelerator of the industry’s transformation, helping stakeholders keep abreast of change and facilitating their evolution as the industry shifts towards smarter and more sustainable living spaces of tomorrow.”

---END---

About Build Eco Xpo
Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia is Southeast Asia’s leading trade exhibition for the green building and construction industry. It is a one-stop destination to source from international suppliers, with regional buyers and specifiers, and learn new knowledge at curated seminars. It’s where inspiration and transformation takes place. www.bex-asia.com

About Mostra Convegno Expocomfort
Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) Asia is Southeast Asia’s only 3-in-1 trade exhibition for energy efficiency in HVAC-R, plumbing, sanitary accessories, and solar energy. Its where international manufacturers, innovative start-ups and Southeast Asian buyers and influencers converge to source, network, learn and transform their business.

About IGBC 2018
Organised by The Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) in collaboration with strategic partners - the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and Reed Exhibitions, the International Green Building Conference (IGBC) is a premier green building conference where thought leaders, policymakers, and practitioners in the built environment sector converge for learning, networking and collaborations.

About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in over 30 countries. In 2017 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

For more information, please contact:

Subeer Dutt
Ying Communications
+65 6779 5514 / bexmce2018@finnpartners.com

Olivia Lee
Ying Communications
+65 6779 5514 / bexmce2018@finnpartners.com

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

 
 
Time to Say Goodbye to Plastic Straws, but What's the Best Alternative
 
Aug 06, 2018
Category:

Companies in Taiwan and the world are phasing out the use of plastic straws in the name of protecting the environment and marine life. How much impact could banning plastic straws really make? What is the best replacement for plastic straws?

The once ubiquitous and popular item has become a symbol of our throw-away culture and the proliferation of non-recyclable materials. In the US and UK alone, 550 million plastic straws are thrown away every day, according to Plastic Oceans Foundation.

Along with single-use carrier bags and disposable cups, the plastic straw’s fall from grace has gone hand-in-hand with an increasing awareness of the damage they are causing, particularly to marine life. Around 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in the world’s oceans each year, according to the United Nations Environment Assembly.

After the BBC television programme Blue Planet 2 underscored the devastating effects plastic can have on sea creatures, and millions of people watched a video of researchers extracting a straw from the nostril of a sea turtle, companies and governments have started to take action.

Starbucks is one example. The global coffee chain said it plans to phase out the 1 billion plastic straws it uses each year by 2020. Demand for straws had been increasing alongside the popularity of cold drinks, it said, with cold beverages making up half of all sales in 2017, up from 37% five years ago. Soon, when you visit Starbucks for a cold drink, you’ll be offered a recyclable lid you can sip through.

The company joins other high-profile brands moving away from straws. McDonald’s is replacing plastic straws with paper ones in all its restaurants in the UK and Ireland and plans to start testing alternatives the US, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia.

IKEA will ban plastic straws in the UK and Ireland later this year and plans to remove single-use plastics from its global product range by the end of the decade. And Hyatt Hotels Corporation said that from September plastic straws and drink picks will be offered “on request only and eco-friendly alternatives will be provided where available.” Even the Queen of England has turned anti-straw.

But not everyone is happy about the straw’s demise, since they are helpful for people that can’t raise a cup to their mouth to drink. And while Starbucks has responded to these concerns, saying anyone who needs a straw can request one made of “alternative materials,” the benefits may prove difficult to match.

Others have questioned how much banning plastic straws will actually help. Adam Minter, author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade and a Bloomberg Opinion columnist estimates that straws make up a relatively small proportion of all plastic waste in the oceans and argues that clamping down in other areas, for example reducing how much old fishing gear is dumped and lessening company waste, would be more effective than banning straws.

For disabled people and the elderly, plastic straws are flexible and can withstand the temperature of hot coffee, tea or soup, making them useful for eating and drinking. And campaigners say the alternatives -- which include paper, glass or stainless steel -- are unsuitable for use because they either disintegrate or conduct heat.

The World Health Organisation estimates that there are more than 600 million people with disability in the world, and while not all of those will need to use straws to eat and drink, it does give some idea of the scale of the issue.

In Seattle, where a ban came into effect on 1 July, the law says companies can make exceptions for people who require plastic straws. Even so, disability rights groups said firms don’t fully understand that they can still offer straws to those that need them, and the alternatives offered aren’t adequate replacements.

Some campaigners complain that companies and governments are acting in response to their concerns -- changing policies after they’ve been implemented -- rather than proactively considering disability needs when shaping legislation. Scotland’s government wants to outlaw plastic straws by the end of 2019 and has appointed a disability adviser to its expert panel to help make sure “the actions taken do not disproportionately affect disabled people.”

Putting the onus on disabled people to remember their own straws or wash a reusable alternative isn’t a viable or fair solution, campaigners say, as in many cases they may not be able to do so and if they forget to carry a straw with them the consequences of dehydration could be severe.

In a blog post on Greenpeace’s web site, Jamie Szymkowiak, the co-Founder of disability rights group, One in Five, called on manufacturers to produce an environmentally friendly flexible non-plastic straw that is suitable for hot and cold drinks.

Paper is unsuitable because it becomes soggy and a choking risk, he says. Silicone alternatives are not flexible enough and metal, glass and bamboo present dangers for people who have difficulty controlling their bite.

While in their current form, plastic straws can take between 100 and 1,000 years to decompose, biodegradable plastics may offer a viable alternative, since they can break down in as little as 12 weeks under the right conditions. Shunned so far because they cost more than double traditional plastic and because they can’t be easily distinguished from their non-biodegradable cousins, they may yet become part of the way forward.

“We must all work together to demand an environmentally friendly solution that meets all our needs, including those of disabled people,” Szymkowiak says.

“As we move to ridding our oceans, beaches and parks of unnecessary single-use plastics, disabled people shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat by large corporations, or governments, unwilling to push suppliers and manufacturers to produce a better solution.”

By Emma Charlton

Edited by Shawn Chou

 
 
Serving Clients Like Starbucks and Nike, Arthur Huang Makes Recycling Popular
 
Jul 29, 2018
Category:

He has turned rice husks into clothing, and kitchen waste into business cards. From furniture at European Starbucks stores to a mobile upcycling unit on the Tibetan Plateau, he is all about exploiting the capitalist production system to make recycling sexy.

In the pursuit and practice of the circular economy, Miniwiz, the company founded by Arthur Huang, has given Taiwan a prominent position within a hot global trend.

Thirteen years ago, Huang led a team that, beginning with designs for portable wind-powered generators, constantly developed new materials, secured patents, turned rice husks into clothing, kitchen waste into business cards, made recycled Nike sneakers into fixtures for upscale Nike stores, and used recycled plastic bottles to make the Taipei Flora Expo’s EcoARK Museum.

From trendy Nike flagship stores in New York, London, Berlin and Milan to his original furniture brand and Starbucks furnishings, and a movable upcycling system on the Tibetan Plateau encircled by joyful school children, Huang and Miniwiz have a knack for creating mind-blowing things. Not just their astounding R&D and design capacities, but also their completely fresh eye and tremendous ambition are transforming the way people think and act about waste and trash.

“As far as having a positive influence and the future shape of the industry, Arthur Huang is a maverick. He is already a leading figure, but I think he’ll be even more influential in the future, and he shouldn’t be underestimated,” says Jack Tsai, partner in the CID investment group. Huang has identified the opportunities present in the circular economy, and leverages R&D to develop methods to convert waste into new materials with hip looks and fashionable flair. “He is very firm in his value system, and reserves special antipathy for those who would destroy the circular economy,” Tsai adds.

In the past, people saw recycled materials as expensive, lacking durability, and ugly. Yet Miniwiz has not only proven that recycled materials can be inexpensive, but also that they are even more durable and even “sexy.” And the company’s client base, which consists nearly exclusively of Fortune 500 companies, seems to agree, tasking Huang to transform waste into eco-friendly materials. The company’s latest product is modular furniture for Starbucks outlets in Europe, for which it has secured a structural design patent. Even more remarkable, all the material is made from coffee cups recycled from Starbucks shops.

“We’re a company that creates value, not just added value,” says Huang, who pulls no punches and gets straight to the point when speaking his mind in Chinese - perhaps the result of having been educated abroad from a young age. Despite emigrating to the United States at the age of 11, frequent references during conversations to such Chinese literary classics as the History of the Three Kingdoms and the Dao De Jing show his appreciation of the wisdom of the ancients to go with his embrace of youthful rebelliousness.

“A lot of people don’t get what we’re doing. We’re trying to fool the global capitalist system of production,” says Huang, who is looking for ways to make the planet a little better, changing the world a little while people go about happily consuming and enjoying stylish living. Like a true believer, he even chats up strangers at nightclubs about the merits of recycling.

Aligning the Industrial Chain

Considering the essence of each issue lets Huang tackle things from a totally different perspective. The company of nearly 90 staff runs the gamut of expertise from materials to architecture, from structural knowhow to design applications and brand marketing. Miniwiz’s research and development places the entire industrial chain in alignment, becoming the company’s chief strength. Command over an integrated technology platform allows the company to be open to all kinds of possibilities.

Last year he teamed up with Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan to take the 16-ton Trashpresso, the world’s first mobile plastic and fabric waste upcycling treatment system, to the Tibetan Plateau. There, at 4,500 meters above sea level, they gave local elementary school students a hands-on demonstration of how to make waste sustainable. The entire journey was documented by the National Geographic Channel for worldwide broadcast as part of the Jackie Chan Green Hero series.

Although it might seem a bit crazy, the Trashpresso project is tremendously educational. Currently there are two mobile upcycling units: one that has made the journey from Shanghai to Qinghai, demonstrating the upcycling process; and one that tours Europe, appearing at Design Week events from Milan to London.

Perhaps, like his various projects, Arthur Huang keeps blowing people’s minds while strengthening his own convictions.

By Yueh-lin Ma
Translated by David Toman
Edited by HanSheng Huang