Figure 1 : Architectural model of Thailand’s future second Synchrotron Light Source
Synchrotron light source is the national infrastructure in science and technology for its contribution of research analysis from downstream, midstream, to upstream levels. Being an effective tool for advanced research, synchrotron promotes research targeting industrial applications for product development and innovation.
Thailand’s synchrotron radiation facility, the 2nd generation synchrotron light source, generates electron beam energy at 1.2 GeV covering spectral range from infrared to low-energy X-Rays. With such energy, the capacity of industrial and medical research is restricted due to the necessity of wider research techniques requiring higher energy and intensity of light. To produce high-energy X-Rays, Thailand should be compelled to develop the 4th generation of synchrotron light source with 2.5 times higher electron energy and 100,000 times higher intensity. This improvement aim to enhance research framework and facility service of Thailand to the leading position in medical, industrial, material, agricultural, food, and commercial research, including application and basic research, as well as becoming one of the top leaders in science and technology of Asia Pacific continent.
Figure 2 : 4th Generation of Siam Photon Source (3.0 GeV)
3 GeV Synchrotron Light Source for Thailand
Studies and analysis through the interviews of several international synchrotron institutes, research institute, and stakeholders shows the number of Thai and ASEAN users in synchrotron radiation considerably increase up to 1,300 proposals per year or 3 times higher comparing to current record (within Y2030). As a result, 62% demand high-energy X-Rays (hard X-Rays) beamline which can only be produced by the 3rd or higher generation of synchrotron light source. Such shifted demand among researchers in Thailand and ASEAN reflects limited capability of the current synchrotron light source in long term effect. In this circumstance, Investment and development of the new synchrotron light source with more advanced technology is compulsory in utilizing demands and Thailand’s R&D.
Sufficient specifications of Thailand’s 4th generation of synchrotron light source consist of 3 GeV electron energy with circumfence of 320 m in operating over 23 beamlines. With anticipated 6 years of construction, the investment of this upgraded facility is estimated 4,950 million THB (approximately 150 million USD) as shown in Figure 1 and 2 (allocation: 1,800 million for accelerator and electron storage ring, 900 million THB for 6 beamlines, 2,250 million THB for land, buildings, infrastructure, and others). According to economic value analysis, the new generation of synchrotron light source likely to create 41,473 million THB of Economic Net Per Value (ENVC), 44.92 percentage of Economic Internal Rate of Return (EIRR), and 7.5 years of Payback Period. This new generation is expected to operate for 30 years while in capable of adding economic value to the main industries of national development including food, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, chemical, electronic, and material industries.
The project is currently on process of budget approval.
Applications of 3 GeV Synchrotron Light Source for Thailand
Synchrotron is a powerful source to study atomic level of organism and various types of material in several R&D. Researchers from Thailand, ASEAN, and other countries may integrate experimental knowledge of synchrotron with the following example of applications:
Medicine and pharmaceutical: Elemental analysis of plants and medicinal herbs including studying protein of viruses and enzyme in searching for infectious mechanism to develop drug design.
Food and agriculture: According to government’s scheme, product quality and safety should be improved in scope of process management and engineering, food processing, food storage, and packaging.
Energy industry: Research in alternative producing and storing green energy. For example, fuel cell research and battery technology.
Advanced material industry: Analysis in property transition of samples under different environment such as, new concrete formula, new composite of metal and material.
Environment, geology, and archeology: More accurate analysis of environmental contamination to examine the connection between plant disease and absorbed molecule. Such beneficial research will support Thai farmers in defending plant disease and reducing the loss of product value. Capacity in forensic archeology will also be expanded.