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Research Fellows Directory

Adeline Seak May Chua

Dr Adeline Seak May Chua

Research Fellow


Newcastle University

Research summary

To address the increasingly serious nutrients pollution in the water environments, Malaysian government has tightened the standards for wastewater treatment by adding nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) discharge limits in year 2009. As a result, new sewage treatment plants are required to remove N and P in addition to organic carbon. Biological nutrient removal is an established technology with most of the full-scale systems operated in temperate climates. It remains unclear whether this technology particularly that of P removal is applicable in the tropics where wastewater temperature is much higher at 30 degree Celcius and above. Adding to the challenge is the lack of local expertise and experience in the field. As such, establishing efficient biological nutrient removal systems in Malaysia remains difficult.

Under the support of a Newton Advanced Fellowship, I am collaborating closely with Prof. Tom Curtis from Newcastle University to investigate the long-term performance of biological nutrients removal process at tropical temperatures, optimize its operational conditions, and elucidate the important microorganisms involved. A good understanding of these three aspects is crucial for the establishment of efficient biological nutrient removal systems and for the setup of design and operational criteria suitable for tropical settings.

Grants awarded

Biological nutrient removal process in the tropics – stability, optimization, and microbiome

Scheme: Newton Advanced Fellowship

Dates: Mar 2016 - Feb 2019

Value: £55,500

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