Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Fatimah Md. Yusoff

  • Water withdrawals, consumption, and discharges are important aspects to be considered in energy generation and fresh-water production.
  • In the advanced Hybrid Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) technology, both surface and deep oceanic waters will be used to generate the thermal energy, and waters with various levels of salinity and temperature will be produced as by-products.
  • These waters have a wide range of applications in aquaculture industry ranging from the culture of micro-organisms (probiotic bacteria, high-value microalgae) to seaweeds, and commercially important invertebrates and fish.

This project aims to:-

  1. Assess the characteristics and properties of the deep oceanic waters (Off-Sabah) and the surface seawaters (Port Dickson) that are considered critical in determining the quality and quantity of OTEC technology final products,
  2. Evaluate all the water quality parameters of the byproduct waters generated by the OTEC technology and
  3. Applications of the waters generated from OTEC technology for the production of live-feed biomass for the aquaculture industry.
  • In this study, deep oceanic waters from the depth of about 700-1000 m from the off-shore of Sabah will be collected and analyzed for its physicochemical properties (in temperature, pH, salinity, conductivity, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen), mineral contents, total organic carbon, pollutant levels (heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), pharmaceutical wastes, dioxins, and pesticides), nutrients and chlorophyll a content.
  • Pollution parameters included are serious concerns due to their potential human and environmental risks.
  • In addition, biological communities such as bacteria, phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos and fish will be assessed to see their ecological changes in terms of space and seasons.
  • The relatively cold waters (between 20  – 23 Celcius) with various salinity levels generated from the OTEC technology will be used to mass culture live-feed organisms such as the probiotic microbes and planktonic organisms.
  • The bigger the cold water marine copepods, the higher the contents of fatty acid compared to tropical species.
  • Thus, outputs of the objectives no 1 and 2 could serve as baseline data and develop water quality standard of both the supplied water and the byproduct water generated by the hybrid OTEC technology. Objective no. 3 would overcome one of the serious bottlenecks in the aquaculture industry, that is the adequate supply of high-quality live-feed.
  • In addition, the knowledge gain in the project could be used in developing the best management options in addressing the quality assurance of hybrid OTEC technology and its positive impacts on the well being of the society and the environment.

    1. To determine the temporal variation of the physicochemical properties, heavy metals, endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), mineral and nutrient contents, viability and density of marine plankton, bacteria and fungi of seaweed supplied to the hybrid OTEC technology
    2. To evaluate the physicochemical properties, pollution level, TOC, nutrient availability, density, and beneficial properties of marine plankton, bacteria and fungi in the reservoir and byproduct water generated by the hybrid OTEC technology
    3. To develop water quality standard of both the supplied water and the byproduct water generated by the hybrid OTEC technology
    4. To determine the survival rate of gnotobiotic zooplankton upon colonization of QS degrader isolated from microbes in seawater and OTEC effluent
    5. To produce high-quality live feed using OTEC water (probiotic bacteria and zooplankton).
    6. To determine the effects of encapsulated zooplankton on the growth and health performances of seabass larvae cultured in OTEC effluent water.

    Flowchart Project 8 Part 1Flowchart Project 8 Part 2

    Novel theories / New findings / Knowledge

    • Water quality standards for energy and freshwater source generation
    • Improved methods for pollutant detection – emerging contaminants e.g, EDCs (endocrine disrupting compounds)
    • Water quality criteria for live feed production

    Research Publications
    Twenty (20) CIJ papers and 30% of the papers are in Q1 and Q2 journals

    Specific or Potential Applications

    • Baseline data to detect environmental changes
    • Best management practice protocols
    • Water quality criteria and standard for Energy generation, desalinization and freshwater production.

    Number of PhD and Masters (by research) Students

    • PhD Student(s): 2
    • Master Student(s): 3


    1. Prof. Dr. Fatimah Md. Yusoff – PROJECT LEADER
    2. Prof. Dr. Ahmad Zaharin Aris
    3. Assoc Prof. Dr. Natrah Fatin Mohd Ikhsan
    4. Dr. Ferdaus Mohamat Yusoff
    5. Dr. Mohd Zafri Hassan
    6. Dr. Syaizwan Zahmir Zulkifli