Chua Kian Jon Ernest’s Research Group
Our group focuses on developing novel solutions to address existing research gaps and challenging problems in biothermal therapies, cooling and dehumidification, and waste energy conversion systems.
Cryo-Heat Transfer Processes
For biothermal therapies, we specifically work on cryosurgery and heat therapy of solid tumors and have contributed fundamentally while developing unique treatment plans for irregularly shaped tumors residing in the vicinity of complex vascular networks. Additionally, I have contributed markedly to new hybrid thermal treatment of solid tumors incorporating cryosurgery and radio-frequency ablation particularly for complex irregularly-shaped tumors where standalone cryosurgery faces pronounced limitations.
Cryo-ablation of liver tissues and solid liver tumors residing in the complex vascularised system (Shao, Y. L., B. Arjun, H. L. Leo, and K. J. Chua. “A computational theoretical model for radiofrequency ablation of tumor with complex vascularization.” Computers in biology and medicine 89 (2017): 282-292)
Heat and Mass Transfer Processes
Our work on innovative cooling and dehumidification has contributed to game-changing air conditioning technologies. In terms of removing moisture from humid air, I lead a solid team to design and engineer the best performing membrane dehumidifiers in terms of permeability and selectivity followed by breakthrough polymeric desiccants that have sorption capacity of 4 to 5 times greater than commercial grade-A silica-gel with markedly reduced regeneration temperature of 40 to 45oC. In terms of water-based sensible heat cooling systems, I lead another team to develop counter-flow dew-point coolers that are 20 to 25% better than existing commercial water-based coolers.
Design and fabrication of the horizontal counter-flow dew-point evaporative cooler (Lin, J., K. Thu, T. D. Bui, R. Z. Wang, Kim Choon Ng, and K. J. Chua. “Study on dew point evaporative cooling system with counter-flow configuration.” Energy Conversion and Management 109 (2016): 153-165.) Final lab-synthesized polymer membrane incorporated to a membrane module performance testing set-up (Bui, Duc Thuan, Aqdas Nida, Kim Choon Ng, and Kian Jon Chua. “Water vapor permeation and dehumidification performance of poly (vinyl alcohol)/lithium chloride composite membranes.” Journal of membrane science 498 (2016): 254-262.)
Energy Conversion Systems
On larger-scale system-level research, my team and I have contributed to flow and operating algorithms, and design of heat-driven systems for cogeneration (power and heat), trigeneration (power, heat, and cooling), quad-generation (power, heat, cooling, and potable water production) coupled with unique heat recovery applications. Several patents on heat-driven absorption and adsorption technologies coupled with heat recovery have been filed in several countries under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) arrangement.
(a) Quad-generation system harvesting the waste heat-energy from the microturbine to simultaneously produce electricity, hot water/steam, chilled water and potable drinking water; and (b) Quad-generation system harvesting waste ultra-cold energy during LNG to CNG conversion.