Sunday, March 29, 2009

Guyana's Institute of Science and Technology (IAST)

I have extracted a brief summary of IAST's current activities based on an article in the Kaieteur News (print edition).

Four focus areas identified: biofuels, indigeous materials, bioprospecting and analytical lab services.

- a pilot plant continues to use recycled oil from restaurants to fuel IAST vehicles.
- a plant near Mabaruma produces fuel from palm oil. This is to expand.
- new plant is to be built at IAST to explore ethanol production using molasses and cassava.

Indigeous materials
- combining clay and recycled rubber from tyres to produce material for roads
- use of rammed clay for building
- building materials using coconut fibre and balata
- road building using kilned clay

Analytical lab services
- significant improvement in facilities including chromatography, extraction of bioactives and testing for environmental contaminants.

Other activities mentioned included training in biofuel plants and support for investors.

IAST has had its ups and downs over the years but currently seems to be achieving real progress.

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