University of Nottingham Malaysia
Faculty of Engineering

Image of Sivakumar Manickam

Sivakumar Manickam

Professor of Chemical and Nanopharmaceutical Process Engineering; Associate Dean of Research and Knowledge Exchange,



Professor Sivakumar Manickam is a Chemical Engineer specializing Process Engineering of Nanomaterials especially Nanopharmaceuticals. He is working in the area of Ultrasound and Hydrodynamic Cavitation since 1997. He has graduated from UDCT, Mumbai, India. Presently he is working with University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus and his research group concentrates on the process development of cavitation based reactors towards technologically important nanomaterials. He is also heading the Manufacturing and Industrial Processes Research Division and is the Coordinator of the Centre for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (CENTAM). He was also the recipient of prestigious JSPS fellowship from the Goernment of Japan. He has published ~150 peer reviewed journal and conference papers. He is the Fellow of Higher Education Academy (UK) and member of Institute of Nanotechnology (IoN).

Teaching Summary

· Chemical Product Design

· Modern Process Chemistry

· Waste and Wastewater Treatment

· Nanotechnology of Advanced Materials

· Pharmaceutical Chemical Engineering & Technology · Technology of Fine Chemicals and Bulk Drugs · Chemical Process Technology · Chemical Engineering Operations · Modern Analytical Techniques · Unit Processes in organic Synthesis · Novel Drug Delivery Systems

Research Summary

Nano chemical engineering of Advanced Materials; Development of Nanosuspensions and Nanoemulsions for Pharmaceutical Industries; Process Research, Engineering and Development of Drugs and Drug… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

Nano chemical engineering of Advanced Materials; Development of Nanosuspensions and Nanoemulsions for Pharmaceutical Industries; Process Research, Engineering and Development of Drugs and Drug Intermediates; Utilisation of Highly Energy Efficient Ultrasonic and Hydrodynamic Cavitation Technique for the Development of Nanomaterials as well as for Waste-water Treatment

I Ultrasonic cavitation and its role in the formation of Nanoemulsion or Nanosuspension:

Ultrasonic cavitation, a highly efficient energy concentration process, in recent years, has become one of the important technology areas in assisting chemical reactions in order to bring out a desired chemical change with many advantages. The importance can be easily understood from its increasing reactivity's of many reactions by nearly a million fold, due to its enormous concentration of energy. It has a high-pressure component, which suggests that it might be possible to produce on a microscopic scale the same large-scale conditions produced during explosions or shock waves. Thus, it generates a short-lived, localized hot spot in an otherwise cold liquid; such a hot spot has a temperature of roughly 5000 oC, a pressure of about 1000 atm., a lifetime of considerably less than a microsecond, and heating and cooling rates above 10 billion oC per second and thereby provides an unusual mechanism for generating high-energy chemistry. Highly intensive ultrasound supplies the power needed to disperse a liquid phase (dispersed phase) in small droplets in a second phase (continuous phase). In the dispersing zone, the imploding cavitation bubbles cause intensive shock waves in the surrounding liquid and result in the formation of liquid jets of high liquid velocity. At appropriate energy density levels, ultrasound can well achieve a mean droplet sizes well below 1 micron. Efficiently generating the emulsion property of ultrasonic cavitation have been explored for the preparation of a variety of nanopharmaceutical emulsion as well as suspension incorporated with synthetic drugs/natural products that have intense market potential in Malaysia.

II Nanochemical Engineering - An Innovative Technological Approach to obtain Nanomaterials and Biomaterials

Much effort is currently being devoted to the study of nanomaterials mainly due to their wide variety of applications. Particularly, nanoparticles have generated a large research effort because of their properties which differ markedly from those of their bulk counterpart. Many different approaches have been applied to the fabrication of nano-entity, such as co-precipitation, microemulsion, supercritical sol-gel processing, hydrothermal synthesis, or high energy ball milling. Directed to the problems of these conventional methods, new synthetic methods have received increased attention in recent years. Cavitation, an approach for synthesizing a variety of compounds at milder conditions is already the rage in materials engineering.

Over the last few years, the technique has also started to catch on in the materials science and engineering community as a way to speed the discovery of everything in this area. The major advantage of this new method is that it affords a reliable and facile route for the control of both the synthetic process and nanostructure in advanced materials. Also, this process provides chemical homogeneity and reactivity through atomic level mixing within the precursor system, and phase pure crystalline materials can be prepared by annealing at reduced temperatures. In our research, various advanced and technologically important nanomaterials as well as biomaterials have been obtained using this novel technology.

III Waste-water Treatment - Treating Industrial Effluents Using Cavitation Technology:

Although ultrasound has a broad range of industrial applications, its potential for water and wastewater treatment has not been explored extensively. Increasingly stringent water quality regulations require almost total removal of organic pollutants from effluent wastewater from a level of part-per-million to part-per-billion range. The efficiency of the usual cleaning processes to treat carbonaceous compounds (biological or physical/chemical treatments) is limited. In such circumstances, ultrasound seems to be a promising technology for wastewater treatment. The intensity of cavity implosion induced by ultrasound, and hence the nature of the reaction, are controlled by factors such as driving acoustic frequency, acoustic intensity, bulk temperature, static pressure, the choice of the liquid, and the choice of the dissolved gas. The heat from the cavity implosion decomposes water into extremely reactive hydrogen atoms (H•) and hydroxyl radicals (OH•). During the quick-cooling phase, hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen atoms recombine to form hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and molecular hydrogen (H2), respectively. Thus, in such a molecular environment, organic compounds and inorganic compounds are oxidized or reduced depending on their reactivity. Taking advantage of all these factors, ultrasonic cavitation is highly potential to decompose/mineralise the pollutants. A large reactor (batch and continuous) has been designed and under investigation for the treatment of palm oil mill effluent.

Faculty of Engineering

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8000
fax: +6 (03) 8924 8001

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