School of Chemical & Energy Engineering (SCEE), Faculty of Engineering had recently received a visit from Dr. Richard Pujro from INCAPE-CONICET (Research Institute in Catalysis and Petrochemistry), Santa Fe, Argentina.

The month-long visit from 27 November to 24 December 2018 was made possible through the UTM-CONICET R&D program 2015-2018.

During his stay, Dr Richard was hosted by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zainul Akmar Zakaria, Dr Muhammad Abbas Ahmad Zaini, Maizatulakmal Yahayu and supported by three postgraduate students namely Muhammad Fakhrul Syukri Abd Aziz, Seri Elyanie Zulkifli and Raja Safazliana Raja Sulong.

Together with the team, Dr Richard worked on the valorization of oil palm biomass focusing on bio-oil, pyroligneous acid and bio-char, carried out at the Institute of Bioproduct Development (IBD) and Centre of Lipids Engineering and Applied Research (CLEAR).

Apart from laboratory work, he also assisted in the development of students research work through discussion and supervision.

Dr Richard’s research attachment stint in UTM was a continuation of  the previous five similar trips made by researchers from CONICET from other institutions in Argentina namely CINDEFI-CONICET (Centre for Research and Development in Industrial Fermentation), La Plata and PROIMI-CONICET (Pilot Plant for Industrial Microbiological Processes), Tucuman.

To date, the UTM-CONICET R&D program has resulted in the publications of four ISI-indexed papers (CIF of around 20), one jointly-edited book (UTM Press), six book chapters (Springer), joint organization of a three-day short course in Tucuman, joint organization of a one-day seminar in UTM Kuala Lumpur as well as the signing of two MoUs with Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe and Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Tucuman.