Energy, waste and water

Access to energy and clean water is vital to human well-being, yet rapid urbanisation creates significant challenges for securing reliable access to these critical resources for its residents.

Traditional water treatment technologies are energy intensive, making it hard to achieve a goal of supplying water and energy needs sustainably.

Smart cities must offer opportunities to adopt technological solutions across the supply-chain including changing approaches to production/ supply, distribution and demand.  This includes the development and adoption of:

  • low-carbon energy sources
  • efficient and robust distribution technologies
  • novel water supply and purification systems (including wastewater treatment)
  • sensor technologies to manage demand in real time.

Smart infrastructure design involving green-building and green-precinct water sensitive urban design principles can dramatically decrease energy demand for heating and cooling, as well as capturing stormwater runoff that traditionally leads to flooding and declines in waterway health. If the stormwater runoff is managed differently, it can be used to recharge groundwater supplies and support vegetation to combat the urban heat island.

Research

We are eager to work with people and organisations on research that fits this theme. Some possible research examples might be:

  • how can water requirements for agriculture, cities and the environment be met sustainably?
  • how can green cities reduce water and energy demands and improve human well-being?

If you have an idea for research and want to be a part of our network, contact us with your ideas.

Engagement

We are able to undertake work for organisations and governments. Talk to us about how we can help you. Some examples include:

  • analysis of data and provision of reports to advise on planning for water security and allocation, or smart-senor technology for demand management
  • feasibility studies – for example, water purification and wastewater treatment or low carbon production.

Current research projects

Feasibility studies for reusing construction and demolition waste for smart cities

This project seeks to study the feasibility of using construction and demolition waste (CDW) as an alternate low-carbon material in construction. Three types of CDW: crushed brick, recycled concrete aggregate and recycled asphalt pavement will be considered. It is hoped that this study will increase confidence by end users, contractors and design consultants to make use of this alternative material and reduce the amount of CDW going to landfill.

Investigators:

Project ID: 1-EOI-BITSP


Development of membranes for water harvesting applications

This project will research how to employ the versatile electrospinning technique to fabricate bio-inspired fibres that are capable of capturing water from fog-laden air and releasing it when thermally stimulated. It is hoped that the research will show how these fibres will be able to harvest fresh and clean water in a cost-effective, commercially viable manner, which will have an immense impact in both developed and developing countries.

Investigators:

Project ID: 13-EOI-IITK


Biofilm resistant ultrafiltration membranes for effective water treatment

Increasing global demand for pure drinking water and waste-water management has resulted in the widespread development of membrane filtration processes.  However, their efficacy decreases over time with the accumulation of particulates so replacing/disposal or cleaning becomes expensive and time consuming.  Through this project, we plan to develop cost-effective ultrafiltration membranes which will have the potential to transform the water filtration/purification process.

Investigators:

Project ID: 14-EOI-IITK


Intelligent planning of Prosumer Microgrid (PMG) Load Management in Smart Cities for Optimal Energy Consumption

This project aims to reduce the costs of energy consumption through intelligent monitoring of the loads and generations of the Prosumer Microgrid (PMG). When prosumers along with Net Zero Buildings (NZB) participate in energy bidding process, energy cost minimisation in PMG can be achieved.

Investigators:

Project ID: 18-EOI-BITSP


Public understanding and informed-decision on the Ganges river water by people participation for an Action Plan for Clean River Ganges (APCRG)

This research aims to:

  1. Formulate an Ideal Scenario (IS) about citizens’ beliefs, understanding and intention for action regarding a clean river Ganges by experts in the field of water management and quality, governments and scientists (a detechnicalised document of what is expected to be a clean Ganges river and how this is important in living and lifestyle changes).
  2. Identify an Actual Scenario (AS) of citizens’ beliefs, understanding and intention for action regarding river Ganges water (what at present citizens believe, understand and interested in taking to clean the river Ganges).
  3. Evaluate the gaps in ideal and actual scenario to propose an Action Plan for Clean River Ganges (APCRG).
Investigators:

Project ID: 22-EOI-IITK


Research partners

La Trobe Academics

You can download the complete file of one-page profiles for La Trobe Academics here [PDF 1.3MB]

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur Academics

You can download the complete file of one-page profiles for IIT Kanpur Academics here [PDF 1.1MB]

Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani Academics

You can download the complete file of one-page profiles for BITS Pilani Academics here [PDF 1.3MB]