Steps to beef up pollution and odour sensors

A mysterious, strong acrid smell and smoke swept across parts of Singapore on Sept 25, 2017.
A mysterious, strong acrid smell and smoke swept across parts of Singapore on Sept 25, 2017. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Pollution monitoring systems in Singapore are set to be given a boost.

The National Environment Agency (NEA), with Spring Singapore, yesterday jointly called for proposals to tackle two issues.

First, they want to develop remote, real-time and cheap sensing systems to monitor the output of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter (PM) emissions from diesel vehicles. It was reported last week that NEA is also testing a new camera system to detect and identify smoky vehicles on the roads.

Second, they want to be able to monitor and trace odours that are generated through industrial activity. The aim is to implement sensing devices that can constantly track the production and sources of odours.

Currently, NEA deals with odours based on the feedback it receives. However, by the time officers are sent down to areas where odours are reported from, the chemicals that cause them tend to have dispersed.

Singaporean firms, institutes of higher learning and research institutes are eligible to submit their proposals, with details online on the NEA website.

The announcement came during the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore Catalyst 2017, held at One Farrer Hotel and Spa.

Opening the event, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli spoke about the need to push for "Industry 4.0" - a "fourth industry revolution" which features the innovative integration of data analytics, automation, manufacturing and products.

Underpinning it, he said, was the pursuit of the circular economy, premised on continuously regenerating and recycling the materials that we use, to reduce waste production and ensure sustainability.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2017, with the headline 'Steps to beef up pollution and odour sensors'. Print Edition | Subscribe