Instrumental Access 2019:
Department of Chemical & Process Engineering
In Kenya, supporting research on biofuels, water purification, biopharmaceuticals, and more
Meet our Partner
Located in Western Kenya, Moi University is Kenya’s second-oldest public university.
The Department of Chemical & Process Engineering is Kenya’s only accredited chemical engineering program.
Current offerings include a bachelor of engineering and a master’s program. Several other programs, including a PhD, are under development.
The department’s research priorities include environmental health, energy, natural products, water quality, and waste disposal.
Equipment will be a springboard. Students will have opportunities for hands-on training which makes learning real. Research and practical skills will make them among the best trained in our region."
Engineering Affordable Biofuels: Dr. Anil Kumar
In Kenya, as in most of the rest of the world, renewable sources of energy are desperately needed to drive economic development independent of foreign oil imports and avoid contributing to climate change.
Anil Kumar, PhD, associate professor of chemical engineering at Moi University, sees potential reserves of energy all around him: massive amounts of plant wastes from Kenya’s agriculture-based economy, marine algae collected from the long coastline, and even the plastic bags that were recently so ubiquitous that the Kenyan government has banned their use nationwide.
While it is technologically feasible to convert just about any biological waste into usable biofuels, it is often difficult and prohibitively expensive. Dr. Kumar’s research aims to change that.
"An economically viable production technology for biodiesel and bioethanol from indigenous resources would be a breakthrough," says Dr. Kumar. "It would have a major impact on the energy scene in the country, positively affecting the national economy and managing the environment."
Dr. Kumar and his students are exploring new catalysts, processes, and energy sources in to potentially engineer a solution.
The challenge is daunting, but their hopes are high: "This is a relatively green area of research with immense potential for a country like Kenya," says Dr. Kumar.
Equipment from Instrumental Access will help them to continue and expand this work at Moi University, without having to send samples to other universities for analysis.
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About Instrumental Access
To begin, we identify a pipeline of scientific talent. Then we rigorously screen universities and select those with the most potential to advance education and research through Instrumental Access.