Continuing the test of the 50 lpd pilot plant of ethanol production from cassava, two UNIDO delegations visited Food Industries Research Institute for evaluating the progress of project “Overcoming Policy, Market and Technological Barriers to Support Technological Innovation and South- South Technology Transfer”. The first delegation led by Mr. Jossy Thomas, the representative of UNIDO Headquarters- Vienna, Austria visited FIRI on September 14, 2018. The second one led by Dr. Alfredo Jose Curbelo Alonso, an UNIDO independent expert and a senior researcher of Cubaenergia came to FIRI on September 24, 2018.
Discussion with Mr. Jossy Thomas
Assoc. Prof. Vu Nguyen Thanh, coordinator of the project presented the progress achieved so far. FIRI established a training center with 21 collaborators to disseminate the technology package received from KMUTT. All documents received from KMUTT have been translated into Vietnamese. The manuals were adjusted to fit the specific conditions and requirements in Vietnam. A section named “Bioethanol Project” was set up in the website of FIRI to introduce the project activities together with a Facebook group. FIRI has established a 50 lpd pilot plant of ethanol production from cassava. FIRI together with KMUTT tested the pilot plant under load and no load running conditions and the pilot plant received good assessment from KMUTT experts. FIRI also organized 3 training courses on analytical technologies applied in food science, analytical methods in bioethanol production from cassava and introduction of bioethanol production technology from cassava using very high gravity, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation technology. FIRI have cooperated with two bioethanol- producing companies in technology transfer, namely Tung Lam Co LTD and Vietnam Central Bio Fuels JSC.
Mr. Jossy Thomas and Mr. Supalerk Kanasook checked equipment in FIRI pilot plant
Mr. Jossey Thomas and Dr. Alfredo Jose Curbelo Alonso listened and had discussions with the Institute about the project progress. The pilot plant has operated smoothly, especially the fermentation system which can be automatically controlled, receiving high evaluation from experts. Besides, there arise several matters that need to be solved when bioethanol- producing companies applies the new technology. These are viscosity related problems when using very high gravity, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation technology, especially in large scale production. FIRI and experts will support these companies in upgrading their existing equipment to suit with the new technology. Some of Vietnamese bioethanol producing companies would like to visit Thailand companies that have applied successfully the new technology in large scale production. FIRI and these companies hope to receive UNIDO’s support in the matter. In the future, a conference on bioethanol production from cassava will be held in Hanoi on 4-5 October, 2018. This is also an opportunity for enzyme & equipment suppliers, agronomists, manufacturers, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and technologists to sit together and have discussions on present situation and prospects of bioethanol production from cassava in Vietnam. FIRI will work with bioethanol- producing companies to build up proposals to apply that new technology in reality.
Dr. Alfredo Jose Curbelo Alonso checked fermentation system of the pilot plant
After the meetings, Mr. Jossey Thomas and Dr. Alfredo Jose Curbelo Alonso visited and checked equipment in FIRI 50 lpd pilot plant of ethanol production from cassava.