Toshiba to research wastewater adsorbent in Singapore

Toshiba Corporation has set up an Aqua Research Centre in Singapore, its first water treatment research and development (R&D) centre located outside of Japan.

The centre was officially opened on 11 April 2012 in a ceremony officiated by Chew Men Leong, chief executive of PUB, Singapore’s water agency, at PUB’s Water Hub.

At the ceremony, Toshiba also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with PUB to explore a collaboration to develop and test the application of a newly developed adsorbent to remove toxic elements in the used-water treatment process for semiconductor plants.

Toshiba invented the adsorbent, named “Functional Powder”, in 2008. The company claims that it can absorb toxic elements from used water and also extract valuable elements for recycling, including rare metals. It says the powder can replace the chemicals used in conventional industrial used-water treatment processes for the removal of such toxic compounds and is more cost-efficient since it can be reused.

Under the MOU, Aqua Research Centre and PUB will explore developing and testing a treatment process under which high concentrations of fluoride ions discharged from the semiconductor manufacturing process are removed using the functional powder.

Going forward, Toshiba will promote continued development of the technology towards establishing a global business in industrial used-water treatment. The company aims to showcase this R&D collaboration at the Singapore International Water Week 2012 in July.