The Retail Summit officially opens
 
Feb 14, 2019
Category:

Dubai, UAE, 13 February 2019: The Retail Summit was officially opened today with a welcome address by H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber Of Commerce & Industry.

Sir Richard Branson took to the stage on the first day as headline speaker at the new event, which runs until 14 February at Atlantis, The Palm.

Other industry heavyweight speakers include:
• Huda Kattan, CEO and Co-Founder, Huda Beauty
• Julia Goldin, CMO, Lego
• Hans Christian Meyer, CEO, Tiger of Sweden
• John Veichmanis, CMO, Farfetch
• Fahad Abdulrahim Kazim, VP, Meydan Malls, Meydan Group
• Ghizlan Guenez, CEO & Founder, The Modist
• Jo Malone, Founder, Jo Loves
• Niu Gang, Chairman, Dashang Group

With more than 80 speakers and 900 participants, The Retail Summit has brought together disruptive brands and legacy retailers to discuss the future of retail in the digital age.

The Retail Summit is supported by event partners Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan One; Innovation partner: Accenture; Silver partners: Black Jack, CBRE, CEGID, KPMG, SAP, Umdasch and Xpandretail; Strategic partners: Al Futtaim Malls, Arvind Internet, Bentley, BJSS, Content Square, Department of International Trade, Gate Avenue, Lava Moments, Mcube, Nook, Openbravo, Parcelly, Ponant, Presso, Samsung and Sensemi.

Ends

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

 
 
CO2 Can Be a Valuable Raw Material. Here's How
 
Jan 24, 2019
Category:

What if we did something with carbon emissions, instead of continuing to try and contain them on a massive scale?

The world is off track on climate action, with global warming heading towards 3°C this century, according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We used to think that if we could keep warming below 2°C, then the changes we would experience would somehow be manageable. But the IPCC’s report states that even going past 1.5°C is gambling with the planet's liveability.

While the negotiators at the 24th UN Climate Conference in December 2018 secured agreement on a range of measures that will make the Paris Agreement operational in 2020, now is high time to plan action - in cities, rural areas, energy systems, construction, transport and industry.

Action is expected from the sector that I represent - the chemical industry. It produces many useful products that we can hardly do without, from medications, adhesives and cleaning products to high-quality engineering plastics. However, producing these materials consumes a great deal of energy and natural resources, and releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Thanks to modern processes and constant efforts, a lot less is released than previously. However, in Europe alone, industrial processes are the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Still, the chemical industry is a key enabler for a more sustainable future, and part of the solution.

One example of thinking differently is CO2. What if we did something with it, instead of continuing to try and contain it on a massive scale? One promising pathway is using this climate destroyer as a useful raw material, to provide the valuable carbon that the chemical industry so heavily relies on. In doing so, we would need fewer raw materials from fossil sources such as petroleum.

There is a growing movement utilizing non-fossil resources, such as carbon dioxide and plants. This constitutes an important facet of the circular economy, which is still in its infancy. But moving in a circle doesn’t just mean recycling; rather, the entire cycle must be considered.

All the various actors in the cycle must cooperate. A prime example of collective action in terms of material cycles is Carbon4PUR. This pan-European, large collaborative project studies how smelting gases, including CO2, from steel production can be used to produce chemicals and end products. The consortium is made of 14 partners from seven countries and comprises the whole value chain.

I’m certain that sooner or later, CO2 as a resource will become an economic factor. Several companies around the world are already developing new technologies and business ideas around CO2-based products. Unlocking the potential of these ideas doesn’t just require political support - acceptance by society at large is also needed. And the financial sector has the opportunity to channel venture capital into new raw materials, stimulating the start-up scene.

The chemical and plastics industry would be well-advised to explore this topic, as it could help in reaching ambitious climate targets. As a key sector, this industry has considerable influence over its products and how they are developed, and therefore can impact the sustainability balance and climate effect of downstream industries.

Above all, it is the sound economic argument that should prompt the chemical industry to look around for alternatives to petroleum and expand its resource base. It will have to prepare for the fact that generating greenhouse gases may cost more in the future. But this new approach will help meet the growing consumer demand for products made in a sustainable and climate-neutral way.

It is often said that those who run in circles never get far. In the case of resource efficiency, I beg to disagree.

Edited by Sharon Tseng

 
 
Sanli has secured S$51.5 million worth of contracts from the Public Utilities Board (PUB)
 
JCN Newswire
Jan 22, 2019
Category:

SINGAPORE, Jan 22, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) - Sanli Environmental Limited ("Sanli" and together with its subsidiaries, the "Group"), an environmental engineering company with more than ten years of experience and over 1,000 completed projects in the field of water and waste management under its belt, is pleased to announce that it has secured new Engineering, Procurement and Construction ("EPC") and Operations and Maintenance ("O&M") contracts ("Contracts") worth a total of S$51.5 million from the Public Utilities Board (PUB). These contract wins will bolster the Group's order book to S$185.9 million as at 22 January 2019.

Under the EPC contract which is valued approximately at S$51.0 million, Sanli will be involved in the construction works for the replacement of mechanical and electrical equipment at Kranji water reclamation plant. This contract is expected to contribute to Sanli's revenue for the next two (2) years from the financial year ending 31 March 2020 ("FY2020").

Mr Sim Hock Heng, Chief Executive Officer of Sanli said, "We are very excited to have secured a contract of this size from the public sector. We believe our established track record and strong capabilities have given us a competitive edge. This is also an indication of the level of confidence the public sector has in our abilities. Our team is greatly encouraged by it. The Group will continue to leverage on our established track record and work towards securing more contracts to grow the business further."

Under the O&M contract, Sanli will provide maintenance services of approximately S$0.5 million for the replaced mechanical and electrical equipment at the same water reclamation plant. This contract is expected to contribute to Sanli's revenue after the completion of the EPC Contract.

About Sanli Environmental Limited

Sanli is an environmental engineering company in the field of water and waste management. It has more than ten years of experience and over 1,000 completed projects under its portfolio.

The Group's expertise is in the design, supply, delivery, installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair and overhaul of mechanical and electrical equipment as well as instrumentation and control systems in wastewater treatment plants, water reclamation plants, NEWater plants, waterworks, service reservoirs, pumping stations and incineration plants.

The Group has two main business segments: Engineering, Procurement and Construction ("EPC") and Operations and Maintenance ("O&M"). Under its EPC segment, Sanli provides services within the field of water and waste management, including process upgrading of existing water treatment plants, upgrading of pumping station capacities, replacement of aged equipment, and design and build of various treatment process systems. Through its O&M segment, the Group provides corrective and preventive maintenance services to ensure reliability and minimal disruptions to customers' operations. For more information, please visit the company website at .www.sanli.com.sg.

Issued on behalf of Sanli Environmental Limited by:

Waterbrooks Consultants Pte Ltd
Tel: +65 6100 2228
Lynette Tan
(M): +65 9687 2023
lynette@waterbrooks.com.sg

SANLI ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITED
Angeline Cheong
(M): +65 9666 0977
angeline@waterbrooks.com.sg

This media release has been prepared by the Company and its contents have been reviewed by the Company's sponsor, SAC Capital Private Limited (the "Sponsor"), for compliance with the relevant rules of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (the "SGX-ST"). The Sponsor has not independently verified the contents of this media release.

This media release has not been examined or approved by the SGX-ST and the SGX-ST assumes no responsibility for the contents of this media release, including the correctness of any of the statements or opinions made or reports contained in this media release.

The contact person for the Sponsor is Mr David Yeong (Telephone: +65 6232 3210) at 1 Robinson Road, #21-00 AIA Tower, Singapore 048542.

 
 
Contact
Company JCN Newswire
Contact Tiara Liu
Telephone +81-3-5791-1821
E-mail info@japancorp.net
Website
This 12-Year-Old Built an Underwater Robot to Fight Plastic Pollution
 
Jan 06, 2019
Category:

Her project is called ‘Developing a Smart Infrared Based ROV to Identify Microplastics in Marine Environments’ – ROV stands for remotely operated vehicle. Inspired by a visit to the beach, where she was struck by the volume of plastic littering the sand, Du has developed an underwater vehicle fitted with an infrared camera that can detect plastic resting on the seabed.

The problem of plastic pollution in the ocean is widely acknowledged and well documented. Yet solutions are still only starting to take shape.

The remains of a sperm whale found in Indonesia in mid-November demonstrate the extent of the plastic pollution problem. (Read: Taiwan & Indonesia Singing the Blues for the Seas)

Almost 6 kg of plastic waste was found in the animal’s stomach, including 115 cups. Plastic has even been found inside freshwater fish living in the Amazon basin. Fish ranging in size from 4cm to almost 30cm, including the parrot pacu, the redhook silver dollar, and the red-bellied piranha, were all found to have consumed plastics and polymers.

Du decided to take part in the competition after seeing the extent of plastic litter at the beach, and how varied it was. “As I was collecting it, I couldn’t help but notice just how much plastics there were,” she says.

Different types of plastic absorb and reflect light in their own unique way, depending on their composition. This is the basis of many automated plastic recycling facilities – light is shone onto the flow of plastic along a conveyor, sensors detect which light is reflected and can group the plastic waste according to type.

The use of light to detect substance composition informed the choices Du made when developing her ROV. Its camera takes photos of the surface of the seabed and compares those images with a reference library she developed based on an online database. That allows it to tell plastics apart from other types of materials.

“The real invention here is the sensing,” roboticist and engineer Dana Yoerger told the Smithsonian Institute.

Edited by Sharon Tseng

 
 
The Unexpected Future for Farming
 
Dec 27, 2018
Category:

Coal mines and inner-city tunnels could be transformed into farms to help feed the planet’s growing population.

Academics are exploring the use of abandoned mines and other subterranean facilities in the UK and China as alternatives to traditional agricultural land.

“There are millions of redundant coal mines and tunnels in the world which could be linked to new tunnels for crop production,” says Professor Saffa Riffat, Chair in Sustainable Energy at the University of Nottingham.

“In the UK there are over 1,500 redundant coal mines, and in China, there are over 12,000 abandoned coal mines (0.6 million m3), 7.2 billion m3 of tunnels and about one billion m3 of civic air defence tunnels.”

Farm Demand

The United Nations predicts the world’s population will grow by 1 billion to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, and 9.7 billion by 2050.

This increase – coupled with an expanding global middle class that is demanding higher-quality food – will require a near doubling of current food production levels, which today still leave 815 million people chronically undernourished.

Instead of simply doubling the amount of agricultural land and all of the economic and environmental implications that would come with that, farmers and scientists are exploring new techniques for growing our food.

Riffat and his University of Nottingham colleagues are embarking on a two-to-three-year study of underground facilities in the UK and China.

They claim that a variety of crops could be grown in the subterranean farms using hydroponic planters, where plant roots are fed with nutrient-rich water. This water could be sourced from groundwater used directly or water that is condensed from ambient air.

Coloured LED units would enable photosynthesis in the absence of sunlight, while plants could breathe CO2 that has been captured from industrial emissions and stored underground.

Dome Grown

Growing food inside in artificial conditions is nothing new: in Iceland, where winter can last for six months, crops have been produced in geothermal domes all year round for the past 20 years.

However, today hydroponics is being combined with digital technology to make indoor farming more efficient than ever before, leading some to call it the future of agriculture.

And in many cities – where the majority of the planet’s projected population growth will occur – vertical farms are appearing. These “skyscraper farms” are claimed to yield more than 32 times the level of crops per square metre as agricultural land.

However, Riffat warns that “vertical farming systems are expensive to manufacture and install, and require a large amount of water and energy for heating and cooling”.

“They are also vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, wars and terrorism,” he adds.

He argues that underground farms would be less exposed to many of these risks.

Such underground farms already exist: in London one company has converted old Second World War air raid shelters into a hydroponic farm that produces herbs and salads for London’s hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.

Edited by Tomas Lin

 
 
Eco Expo Asia Opens
 
Oct 26, 2018
Category:

25 October 2018 – The 13th edition of Eco Expo Asia, 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), opened today at AsiaWorld-Expo. The four-day expo runs from 25-28 Oct and features some 340 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions. The final day of the expo (Sunday, 28 Oct) will open to the public to promote waste-reduction awareness. Meanwhile, the concurrent HKTDC Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo returns for its third edition, also at AsiaWorld-Expo. Featuring 420 exhibitors, the fair showcases the latest lighting systems and solutions to meet market demand for energy-efficient and cost-saving technologies.

The opening ceremony for the expo was officiated by Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR. Mr Wong said: “The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will bring the cities in the region together to strengthen the economic cooperation as well as develop a quality living circle. On green environment the Greater Bay Area development will open up new horizons. It not only helps cities in the region work together to clean up air and water as well as protect the flora and fauna, it also opens up new opportunities for innovations and collaborative efforts to pursue low-carbon development as well as circular economy for the Greater Bay Area.” Mr Wong noted that waste management has critical climate implications, and the government has adopted different policies and action plans with a view to achieving both waste- and carbon-reduction targets, including the Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, launched in August.

HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said: “In recent years, as more environmental issues emerge around the world, we have seen the green industry becoming an increasingly important sector in the global economy. From waste reduction and energy saving to green transportation, the market has launched many products and technologies that incorporate green concepts. As an important event for the green industry in Asia, the expo gathers a wide range of innovative products and technologies under the theme of ‘Waste Less, Save More for a Low-Carbon Future’ to provide the latest solutions for various businesses and drive the green industry’s development in the region.”

The latest Policy Address given by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR featured various environmental policies, including a provision of HK$300-400 million to step up waste reduction, promote recovery and recycling, and develop renewable energies. Ms Fong said these new measures will help drive the development of the local green industry, while the expo provides a comprehensive platform for local and international buyers to search for suitable products and technologies that match the market’s needs.

The expo this year features 14 international group pavilions as well as the launch of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Zone to present green opportunities in various Greater Bay Area cities. The event also features nine thematic zones to present a wide variety of green products and technologies, including Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency, Green Transportation, Waste Management and Recycling, and the Startup Zone. Some 97 buying missions, comprising more than 2,300 corporate representatives from 25 countries and regions, have been organised to visit the expo.

Startup Zone Showcases Innovative Green Technologies

Twenty Hong Kong start-up companies showcase the latest green technologies at the Startup Zone. They include:

  • Akmon Limited (Booth: 3-G28) highlights a high-quality fashionable air pollution mask, designed in France and engineered in Germany. The mask can block germs, gases, dust, odours and the smallest harmful airborne viruses carried by PM2.5.
  • GRN Consultant (Hong Kong) Limited (Booth: 3-F27) has developed a patented atomised ozone water capable of deodorising, disinfecting the air and breaking down poisonous gases. It also has agricultural uses, helping to reduce insecticide usage.
  • Solartility (Booth: 3-E28), responding to the government’s Feed-in Tariff Policy, has designed a solar system for residential and commercial use. By connecting the system to the grid, users can sell the green power generated by the system to the two major power companies.
    Global Green Products and Technologies Match Market Needs

    Eco Expo Asia is showcasing various projects, technologies and green concepts from environmental enterprises worldwide, including the following:

    ir Quality

    • Developed by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Booth: 6-B24), the Monitoring System for Urban Tree Management can perform large-scale monitoring of tree stability using smart sensor technology and geological data to make sure trees are appropriately cared for and able to improve the city’s air quality.
    • Anhui Yuanchen Environmental Protection Polytron Technologies (Booth: 6-A25) is an integrated service provider for atmospheric pollution regulation, providing solutions to treat air pollutants.

    Eco-friendly Products

    • Taiwan company Zen Zhou Social Enterprise (Booth: 3-H28) designs plastic-free products that are both stylish and practical, such as a beeswax food wrap that replaces plastic wrap and bags, and a palm plate that replaces plastic plates.
    • Charankattu Coir – India (Booth: 3-H28) produces and exports coir fibre cloths and sutured blankets that can control soil erosion, while the coir helps to retain soil moisture in gardens and seed ranches.

    Green Transportation

    • Nissan’s latest e-NV200 100% electric MPV (Booth: 3-E30) is equipped with a 40kWh lithium battery which takes only 40 minutes to charge up to 80%.
    • Hyundai (Booth: 3-C30) showcases its second-generation commercialised FCEV NEXO, the first hydrogen-powered SUV shown in Hong Kong with an estimated driving range of more than 600 kilometers and a refueling time of five minutes.

    Waste Management and Recycling

    • Ergo Global (Booth: 3-B21) provides a new vertical waste transfer system that uses fewer containers, compactors and transportation trucks, making it a more efficient solid-waste transfer solution.
    • Canada company Pyrowave (Booth: 6-B12) highlights its patented catalytic microwave depolymerisation (CMD) process that unzips plastics back into their initial constituents, depolymerising directly onsite at recycling facilities and at producers of plastic waste.

    Eco Excellence

    • Developed by Hong Kong company Lap Energy HK Ltd (Booth: 3-E02), the photovoltaic power system can effectively convert solar energy into electricity power and convert DC to AC power through an inverter. The system can be installed on rooftops or in spare open space for self-use or sold to the power company under the Feed-in Tariff Policy.

    Green Mart

    • NovaTech Company Limited (Booth: 3-SG21) showcases “Smart CARA”, a high-performance food waste decomposer. Food waste can be dehydrated to reduce the volume to 1/10 of its original. The patented activated carbon filter device completely absorbs the smell of the food waste decomposition.

    Eco Asia Conference Explores Green Issues
    The Eco Asia Conference (25-27 Oct) features nearly 40 government officials and experts from eight countries and regions to share insights on a range of topics that include the Chinese mainland’s latest green policies, waste management and recycling, smart water management solutions, green building, as well as renewable energies and their usage. Speakers include Mr Wong; Wang Shancheng, Deputy Director-General, Department of Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection, National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China; and Xie Pengfei, China Chief Representative, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

    The Greater Bay Area Forum on 26 Oct will investigate the latest green business opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and the innovative technologies being deployed in regional environmental initiatives. The Hong Kong Construction Association and Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics will organise the “Smart Construction for Quiet Symposium”, where internationally renowned experts from the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore will discuss the latest policy developments and innovative quiet-construction methods. The Green Transportation Forum also returns to explore trends in electric vehicles and green public transport.

    Public Day Promotes Green Living, New Eco Careers Forum

    Eco Expo Asia will open its doors to the public on the last day of the event (28 Oct) to promote green living. At the “Dialogue with the Secretary for the Environment” session, Mr Wong will meet with primary and secondary school students to talk about waste reduction measures and promote the importance of environmental protection. The Start Small, Start Now documentary, which highlights Hong Kong’s plastic-waste problem, will also premiere on Public Day. Launching this year, the Eco Careers Forum will feature representatives from the Hong Kong Green Building Council, the Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong EV Power Limited and CMA Testing and Certification Laboratories to provide tips for visitors looking to enter the green industry as well as conducting on-site recruiting.

    Visitors can shop for innovative environmentally friendly and health products at the Green Mart, and join sustainable workshops to make frosted glass jar lamps. At the Public Day Forum, Sham Fu-cheung, Chief Experimental Officer, Hong Kong Observatory, and Lin Tang-tai, Senior Engineer at the Water Supplies Department, will discuss how Hong Kong may be affected by a warming world and offer smart water tips. 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 enrol on-site.

    Synergy for More Business Opportunities

    Held concurrently with Eco Expo Asia, the Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo (26-29 Oct) gathers 420 exhibitors from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Korea, Taiwan and Slovakia to showcase a variety of outdoor and industrial lighting products and systems for construction sites, factories, advertisements, stadiums and studios. The expo also features a new Horticultural Lighting zone to showcase a range of grow lights. Meanwhile, the HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition) runs from 27-30 Oct at the HKCEC. Running the fairs in parallel creates synergies by gathering more global buyers in Hong Kong and offering more opportunities for industry players.

    Media Enquiries

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

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

  •  
     
    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

     
     
    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

     
     
    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.

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

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