Academic Profile : Faculty

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Prof Lim Teik Thye
Associate Dean, (Faculty Recruitment & Development), College of Engineering
Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
External Links
Prof. Lim is currently in the Division of Environmental & Water Resources Engineering, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering. He received his Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering (University of Malaya, Malaysia), Masters degree in Geo-environmental Engineering (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), and PhD degree in Environmental Engineering (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore).

He provides expert services in the fields of advanced water treatment and reclamation, pollution control, environmental site assessment, environmental monitoring, and hazardous waste site rehabilitation. He is also engaged by local authorities or organizations to provide independent third party review for environmental projects. He also conducts training courses to professionals working in the field of water and soil pollution control.
My core research fields are:

Advanced oxidation processes for water and wastewater treatment
Environmental catalysis for wastewater treatment
Environmental nanomaterials for water decontamination

My secondary research field is:
Waste-to-energy and waste-to-materials

Brief summaries of my research projects are listed below.

Catalytic advanced oxidation processes (AOPs)
I have 15 years of research track records in redox technologies for surface water, wastewater and groundwater treatment. For the oxidation technologies, my research activities cover sulfate-radical based advanced oxidation process or SR-AOP (homogeneous and heterogeneous), UV-based AOP (homogeneous and heterogeneous), Fenton processes (heterogeneous), photocatalysis (heterogeneous), electrochemical oxidation, and sonochemical oxidation, and hybrid AOPs. On SR-AOP, my group has made significant contribution to the scientific community in terms of advancing the understanding of the mechanisms of the heterogeneous SR-AOP with metal oxides (monometallic oxide and bimetallic oxides) and carbonaceous materials as catalysts to activate peroxymonosulfate (PMS) and peroxydisulfate (PDS). We have discussed our works in our numerous scientific papers and 3 critical reviews in the top journals. Specifically, we have provided insights into the radical and non-radical reaction pathways associated with transformation and mineralization of a wide range of organic emerging micropollutants such as antibiotics, cytostatic drugs, bisphenol A and industrial chemicals. On the homogeneous SR-AOP, our group is among the leading contributor to post-formation mitigation strategy for controlling iodinated disinfection by-products such as iodinated trihalomethanes and iodoacids in RO water. Our group also developed composite catalytic materials which comprise mixed metal oxides, bimetallic oxides, and catalyst-nanocarbon composites that exhibit multifunctional properties such as combined catalysis, adsorption-promoted catalysis, “switchable” catalysis, etc. Our iron-based catalytic composites can function as Fenton catalyst, photo-Fenton catalyst and photocatalyst, such that their applications can be switched over the day/night cycle. When irradiated with sunlight, they trigger sunlight-driven photocatalytic redox degradation of organic pollutants without any chemical addition. The materials can be recovered from the treated water using magnet. We have also developed a hybrid TiO2-activated carbon composites, which can be used as solar-driven photocatalyst or solar-regenerable adsorbent. This invention has been approved for PCT filing as a recognition of our intellectual property.

Catalytic ceramic membrane for removing recalcitrant organics
Over the last 10 years, my group has advanced the research of coupling catalytic oxidation and membrane separation process. The synergistic processes were enabled through our catalytic ceramic membrane research. We developed three types of such hybrid membranes: (1) photocatalytic membrane, (2) catalytic sulfate-radical oxidation membrane, and (3) catalytic ozonation ceramic membrane. One of our inventions, Ag-decorated photocatalytic TiO2-coated alumina membrane, has three functionalities: antibacterial and antibiofouling property, photocatalytic activity, and separation function with membrane pore sizes down to 4 nm.

The details of my research activities and publications are available at
  • “Breaking the ground” in Semakau Landfill: technological solutions for site investigation and material reuse
  • Environmental Sustainability Research
  • Long-Term Environmental Behaviour for Treated Incineration Bottom Ash
  • Valorization of sewage sludge pyrolysis gas for solid carbon capture and storage
US 2016/0106093 A1: Antibacterial Cryogel And Porous Hydrogel, Their Preparation Method, And Their Use For Disinfecting Water (2021)
Abstract: The invention relates to an antibacterial cryogel, its preparation method, and its use for disinfecting water. The invention further relates to an antibacterial porous hydrogel.
The Best Oral Presentation Award at The 10th International Water Association Membrane Technology Conference (IWA-MTC), Washington University in St. Louis, 23-27 July 2023 (presented by PhD advisee).
The Best Paper Presentation Award at The 24th International Ozone Association World Congress, Nice, France, 20-25 Oct 2019 (presented by PhD advisee).
The Best Poster Award at The 14th International Conference on Catalysis in Membrane Reactors (ICCMR14), Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 8-11 July 2019 (presented by PhD advisee).
Enterprise Singapore Merit Award 2018 for contributions to the Singapore Standardisation Programme.
Best Paper Award (Technology category) in Environmental Science & Technology, 2013
Top Cited Paper Award for 2010 and 2011 in Applied Catalysis B Environmental
Top Cited Author for 2007 – 2011 in Water Research
PhD advisee won Golden Key Research Grant, 2011
Research Outstanding and Award Recognition award by NTU 2006.
Courses Taught
CV0001 Civil Engineering and Sustainable Built Environment
CV3015 Environmental Engineering
CV3017 Urban Water Circularity
CV6502 Contaminated Site Assessment and Remediation
EM101 Environmental Quality
EN1001 Environmental Chemistry
EN3003 Environmental Transport Processes
EN3505 Geo-environmental Engineering
EN4912 Integrated Design
EN4105 Integrated Environmental Management
SSP270 (Stanford University) Movement & Fate of Contaminants in Water & Groundwater