by Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
Following the launch of the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) Biofuel Project two weeks ago, Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Malakai Tabar visited the plant site today.
Minister Tabar emphasised the importance of conducting more research to promote biofuel, which is environmentally friendly.
It was also revealed that the PAU Biofuel Project needs K400,000 from its existing funding of K250,000 to fully achieve the project’s objectives.
Minister Tabar was given a tour of the biofuel plant at the PAU campus. He was accompanied by PAU Vice Chancellor Professor Ben Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of PNG’science & Technology Secretariat Professor Teatulohi Matainaho, and Principal Project Investigator Dr Fifaia Matainaho.
The research initiative is undertaken by the School of Science & Technology at the university.
School of Science & Technology Dean Dr Darren Bito and Project Plant Technician Vincent Ando explained that it is there that used cooking oil from major cafeterias, hotels and food providers in the city is brought and turned into biofuel after undergoing various stages of refining.
In fact, 500 litres of waste cooking oil results in 80 per cent of converted bio-diesel: this is an 80 per cent gain. Even the water used during the process is purified before it is released into the university’s pond.
However, the Biofuel Project is in need of an additional K400,000 from its current funding of K250,000, which was received from the PNG’science & Technology Secretariat. The funding is needed to achieve its objectives, which are to promote clean energy and reduce carbon emissions and promote biofuel as an alternative fuel.
Currently, biofuel is only used by PAU vehicles on campus; however, the project team hopes to get approval from the National Institute of Standards and Industrial Technology (NISIT) before it can commercialise the products.
Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology Minister Malakai Tabar has pledged to support the biofuel project with an undisclosed amount from his ministry.