The University of the Philippines Los Baños Interdisciplinary Biofuels Research Studies Center (UPLB-IBRSC),on its first year of inception as a research center, has launched two flagship research and development programs on advance biofuels – biojet and biogasoline – both spearheaded by the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Studies on biojet fuel production from coconut oil and biogasoline production from agricultural wastes are made possible through the support and funding of the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), respectively. These projects coincide with the biomass roadmap of both agencies, which focuses on the utilization of abundant and available biomass sources to replace petroleum-derived energy.

Also, the Center has successfully hosted two consecutive seminars last June 11 and 18, 2014 at the Department of Chemical Engineering Seminar Room and at the Operations Room of the Abelardo G. Samonte Hall, respectively. Dr. Teodoro Mendoza, a Professor of Crop Science at the Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture, UPLB, talked about the “Carbon Footprint in Ethanol Production from Sugarcane (Agronomic Aspect).” Dr. Sergio Capareda, on the other hand, is a Balik-Scientist and an Associate Professor at the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering Texas A&M University, discussed the “Development of Comprehensive Biomass Thermal Conversion Research”.

With its vision to be duly recognized as a national center for interdisciplinary biofuels research focusing on development of sustainable feedstock production and utilization, generation of advanced processing technologies, hastening alternative feedstock commercialization and spearhead policy formulation and improvement that will secure government’s thrust on energy security and environmental quality in the country, the UPLB-IBRSC is aggressively adopting to the dynamic and continually evolving needs of the country. This year, the Center is also proposing several programs such as holding the 1st International Biofuels Conference, being an Affiliate Renewable Energy Center of the Department of Energy, institutionalizing the UPLB-IBRSC and international networking facilitated by our Philippine Consul John Rivas. Prof. Rex Demafelis had technical visits to Australia, US and Canada for potential collaborative researches on biofuels and sweet sorghum and to gain knowledge on the advanced thermochemical conversion research and production facilities.

 


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