Singapore honours Dutch scientist

Mar 09, 2009

Singapore said Monday it will award nearly 200,000 US dollars to a Dutch scientist who pioneered an environmentally friendly, low-cost way of treating waste water and refused to patent the process.

Gatze Lettinga, an environmental engineer from Amsterdam, was chosen as this year's winner of the award, launched in 2008 and named after Singapore's founding father and former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, officials said.

Resource-starved Singapore, which is already recycling sewage into clean for use in factories and homes, gives out the award to honour persons or groups for "outstanding contributions" in the field of water.

Lettinga, who turns 73 next month, said he did not patent his discovery because he wanted everyone to benefit.

"I believe that innovative technologies for treating used water, waste, and gas... will contribute to more sustainable living which the world urgently needs," the retired professor told a news conference in Singapore.

Lettinga focused on , which uses micro-organisms in an oxygen-free environment to purify before it is released to the environment, reducing the threat of pollution.

While anaerobic technology has been around for hundreds of years, his research proved that it can be done at a much lower cost and in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, organisers of the award said in a statement.

Because it does not use oxygen, anaerobic technology uses up to 40 percent less energy than the conventional and is also cheaper to operate and maintain, the statement said.

The technology is now used is almost 3,000 reactors, representing 80 percent of all anaerobic used water treatment systems worldwide.

The award, which comes with a cash prize of 300,000 Singapore dollars (194,000 US) and a gold medallion, is sponsored by the Millennium Foundation, a philanthropic body supported by sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: LiquidPiston unveils quiet X Mini engine prototype

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Big pig poo problem solved

May 20, 2013

An Australian led-project to turn 1.4 million tonnes of Chinese pig poo into alternative energy and fertiliser has been hailed in a national science award.

Recommended for you

LiquidPiston unveils quiet X Mini engine prototype

7 hours ago

LiquidPiston has a new X Mini engine which is a small 70 cubic centimeter gasoline powered "prototype. This is a quiet, four-stroke engine with near-zero vibration. The company said it can bring improvements ...

Novel robotic walker helps patients regain natural gait

12 hours ago

Survivors of stroke or other neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and Parkinson's disease often struggle with mobility. To regain their motor functions, these patients ...

Tomorrow's degradable electronics

Nov 20, 2014

When the FM frequencies are removed in Norway in 2017, all old-fashioned radios will become obsolete, leaving the biggest collection of redundant electronics ever seen – a mountain of waste weighing something ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.