Ilocos, Bicol universities boost biofuel R&D




The Manila Times

Green Industries

THE Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) and Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) will jointly promote sustainable bioenergy research and development (R&D) by pooling resources and expertise in leveling up bioethanol production. To achieve that, a memorandum of agreement was signed between the Batac City, Ilocos Norte-based MMSU and Pili, Camarines Sur-based CBSUA, said Daniel Tapan Jr., MMSU information officer. MMSU President Shirley Agrupis and CBSUA President Alberto Naperi signed the agreement for the Operationalization of the Bioenergy Research for Sustainable Development Program last July 17, formalizing the start of joint R&D initiatives on nipa-based production. Tapaoan said MMSU will train CBSUA personnel on the protocols of bioethanol production, product development, distillation facility operation, maintenance, recalibration and nipa propagation, and lend a 10-liter laboratory scale distiller. CBSUA, for its part, will lead biofuel-related studies in Camarines Sur in coordination with MMSU. Under the agreement, CBSUA shall also secure the necessary permit, documents, or license from the local government or private owners of the province’s nipa plantation and shall monitor the implementation of the project. Tapaoan said at least two CBSUA engineering graduate students will be sent to MMSU to undergo the Professional Science Masters in Renewable Energy Engineering Program. He said this has positioned the National Bioenergy Research and Innovation Center (NBERIC) at the forefront of renewable energy research. “[This] partnership with CBSUA signifies the university’s aggressive research and extension efforts in creating impact among Filipinos,” Agrupis said. NBERIC Director Roque Ulep also affirmed and committed the research and extension directorate to exhaust all its resources toward this goal. Tapaoan said MMSU has deployed a total of 150-liter (L) distiller facility in Aparri, Cagayan and four units 850 L and one unit 150-L reflux distiller in nipa communities in Pamplona town, also in Cagayan; one unit 850 L in Bugallon town in Pangasinan; and one unite 150 L each in Marinduque State University (MSU) and Central Luzon State University. MMSU-NBERIC maintains two units 150 L and one unit 850 L for continuous research and development activities and bulk production of bioethanol.