The Kick-off Meeting and Visit to University of Hull, UK under Royal Society-Newton Mobility Grant.

A research grant granted entitled “Advanced Microwave Pyrolysis Technique to Produce New Materials for CO2 Adsorption” which is collaboration between Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) and University of Hull, UK has been awarded through the “Royal Society- Newton Mobility Grant”, amounting GBP 12,000. The commencement of collaboration has witnessed the first kick-off meeting, visit and knowledge transfer programme between the institutions, held in University of Hull, United Kingdom from 15th until 19th of May 2016.  The team presenting Chemical and Sustainable Engineering Cluster of Environmental Engineering (SEE) UniMAP, are Dr Umi Fazara Md Ali (Malaysia PI), Dr Khairuddin Md Isa and Mrs Nur Hidayah Azmi, whilst the research team from UK are Dr Sharif Zein (UK PI) and Dr Vicky Skolou.

The first day of the event was mainly on specific discussion on advanced microwave technology that has been developed in Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Hull (UOH). Team UOH emphasis on the future production of renewable high-value chemicals and fuels will increasingly depend on biomass due to the requirement to shift society’s dependence from petroleum-based to renewable resources. This is essential for the development of sustainable technologies and the effective management of greenhouse emissions. Recently, there has been a significant increase in cellulosic wastes from the agriculture and food industries. There are pre-harvest and post-harvest agricultural losses and wastes from the food processing industry. They can be used to exploit the synthesis of biofuels and advance eco-friendly biomaterials with a host of different potential applications in many different industries. With this kind of initiatives, Team UOH believe that it will help to eliminate problems related to the use of inorganic synthetic based materials which are non-renewable, non-biodegradable and, during manufacture, consume large amounts of energy and pose potential health risks.

On the next few days, a group research presentation and lab tour have been conducted by UOH. Several postgraduates student from UOH presented their work on the production of various materials from agricultural waste using advance microwave technique. In addition, UniMAP’s representatives presented on their recent work regarding the production of activated carbon for CO2 Capture. A very fruitful discussion was initiated after each presentation.

The last day of the event was mainly UOH and city of Kingston Upon Hull’s tour which were very interesting. Hull is a city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is situated upon the River Hull at its confluence with the Humber bay. Hull is also known as the City of Culture. Finally, Team UOH hosted a group dinner during the closing of the event.

Overall, the 5 days meeting were a success in uniting the collaborators and exchanging knowledge and ideas between them in order to outline and formulate the research work plan and milestones for the grant.

Prepared by:

Dr Umi Fazara Md Ali