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Chemical engineering academics highly commended in IChemE Global Awards 2018

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Academics from University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and Centre of Sustainable Palm Oil Research (CESPOR) received the Biotechnology Award under the highly commended category at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Global Awards 2018 on 1 November 2018, for their work on a new bioreactor for biogas production from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME).

Associate Professor Dr Chan Yi Jing and Professor Ir Dr Denny Ng was jointly commended with former academic staff of UNM Ir Dr Chong Mei Fong. They collaborated to scale up a high-rate bioreactor namely Integrated Anaerobic-Aerobic Bioreactor (IAAB), which is a novel technology proven to improve the treatment efficiency of the palm oil mill effluent (POME).

CESPOR was established by in UNM to promote research collaboration between industry and academic in 2008. From the prevention of Ganoderma disease, which causes the plant to decay, to improving technologies in converting palm-based biomass into biofertiliser, fibre mat, palm pellets, dried long fibre and biochar as well as conversion of POME into biogas as power.

The entry for the Biotechnology Award was submitted under University of Nottingham Malaysia Research Centre (CESPOR), combining industry partners; Havys Oil Mill, Eureka Synergy and Nottingham Green Technologies, Malaysia.

According to CESPOR Founding Director Professor Denny Ng: “Our hard work for the past two years has paid off as we are able to transform the research into a commercial system, which can convert all POME from palm oil mill into bioenergy and clean water.”

Dr Chan who respresented UNM at the IChemE Global Awards 2018 said: “I am delighted to see that my lab scale IAAB developed during my PhD studies is developed into pre-commercialised scale and now it is recognised globally. I would like to express my gratitude to the Dean of Faculty of Science and Engineering Professor Andy Chan and the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering Head Professor Law Chung Lim, who have given their tremendous support from the beginning of this project.

About the awards

The IChemE Global awards was held on 1 November in Manchester, UK and featured more than 100 entries from around the world. The IChemE Awards held in partnership with Johnson Matthey celebrates excellence, innovation and achievement in the chemical, biochemical and process industries.


CESPOR is an interdiscplinary research centre of the University of Nottingham Malaysia, which promotes sustainable development for the palm oil industry. CESPOR has successfully secured more than RM5 million in research grants from the goverment and industry to support its research activities.


(Article image caption: Dr Chan Yi Jing at the The IChemE Global Awards)

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Posted on 13th December 2018

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