The 2020 goal is to develop visible on-site demonstration projects that contribute to campus sustainability goals while showcasing the work of HKUST researchers as contributors to solving global sustainability challenges
The “Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab” (SSC) initiative, jointly administered by the GREAT Smart Cities Institute and HKUST Sustainability Unit, got underway to inspire students and academics to use the HKUST campus as a “living laboratory” to demonstrate “smart” projects that could contribute to solving sustainability issues.
With a pledge of HK$50 million over three years, the University aims to identify sustainable, smart and cross-disciplinary home-grown HKUST projects and implement them on campus. Projects are collaboratively developed by faculty, staff, students and alumni. By uniting HKUST’s quality research and innovative learning approaches, it is hoped that SSC projects will become a source of inspiration to the Hong Kong community, contributing to its development in becoming a world-class sustainable and smart city.
Highlights from the year
Rechargeable Liquid Fuels to Power Electric Vehicles and Electricity Grid
A cross-university research project led by HKUST has successfully developed an environment-friendly rechargeable liquid fuel that promises to have impact on a global scale. It can fully recharge an electric vehicle in a matter of minutes – a great enhancement from existing battery technology which usually takes hours.
This fuel – called ‘e-fuel’ – is carbon-neutral if charged with solar or wind energy. Like fossil fuels, it can be readily dispatched to the power grid, and also rapidly recharged to vehicles. The research ‘Creation of Rechargeable Electron-fuels for Stationary Power Supplies and Electric Vehicles’, is led by Prof. ZHAO Tianshou of HKUST and supported by academics from The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The five-year research project – from 2018 to 2022 – is funded by the Research Grants Council Theme-based Research Scheme to the tune of HK$50 million.
“We have successfully developed a stable lithium-sulfur battery that promises to be energy-dense and capable of storing energy at low cost, and can be applied to both electric vehicles and grids transmitting a high fraction of solar and wind energy,” Prof. Zhao explained.
The e-fuel system adopts the chemistry of a lithium-sulfur battery for the high capacity of the lithium metal and the low cost of the sulfur cathode. While the research team made great progress in developing e-fuel, they still had challenges to overcome. First, dendrites forming on the lithium surface may shorten the battery life. Second, the discharged sulfur will dissolve and diffuse to damage the lithium anode. The team came up with the solution to form a porous lithium anode with surface protection, previously achieved through impractical, strenuous fabrication procedures. This simple yet effective approach led to one of the best performance records ever achieved for a high-loading lithium-sulfur battery.
PRAISE-HK App Uses Street-Level Air Quality Data to Reduce Personal Exposure and Health Risk
HKUST Institute for the Environment in June 2019 launched a new mobile app that aims to help users reduce their exposure to outdoor air pollution. PRAISE-HK stands for “Personalized Real-time Air-quality Informatics System for Exposure – Hong Kong” and will help build Hong Kong into a world-class smart and healthy city. PRAISE-HK is a five-year project commenced in November 2016, and covers three major release milestones for the mobile app and the system:
Phase 1 – The app presented last year was its phase 1 that profiled high-resolution outdoor air quality map down to street-level (with resolution down to 2-20 meter);
Phase 2 – will provide full integration of personal exposure, analyzing both outdoor and indoor air pollution levels including inside buildings or commuting;
Phase 3 – will be an interaction app system that provides health prediction alerts based on personal responses to air pollution.
Download PRAISE-HK app:
App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/praise-hk/id1441509846?mt=8
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hkust.praise
App promo: http://bit.ly/PRAISE-HK-App-promo
App features: http://praise.ust.hk/index.php/about-praise/#app-instruction