Written by: Assoc. Prof. Jewel A. Capunitan

Last April 27, 2023, Prof. Monet Detras, UP Scientist I and the Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, delivered her lecture as the recipient of the 2022-2023 UPLB Centennial Professorial Chair Award. The lecture, entitled “Applications of Biochar Derived from Various Locally Available Agricultural Residues and Organic Wastes,” was held at CE 101 at 9 AM. With an audience of around 100 students, faculty and staff from CEAT, Prof. Detras shared her expertise on biochar production and applications in the Philippines, particularly the results of their studies on the topic from 2018 up to the present, which utilized locally available agricultural residues (cacao pod husk, durian shell, coffee husk, sugarcane bagasse, rice straw, water hyacinth, etc.) and organic wastes (distillery sludge waste, municipal solid waste). She discussed the availability of these residues and wastes in the country, and their suitability as feedstock for thermochemical conversion. She also presented the different biochar production technologies such as thermochemical conversion technologies. She also highlighted the different biochar composition and properties that would be important in evaluating the biochar’s potential applications. She also shared the details of the results of their studies on the application of biochar as nanofertilizer. Finally, she discussed the issues and challenges that may be encountered if biochar will be produced and utilized in the Philippines. The lecture ended with an open forum where Prof. Detras clarified the queries of the attendees. With her professorial chair lecture, Prof. Detras certainly helped the attendees, especially the students in appreciating and gaining interest in biochar production and utilization in the Philippines.