Three-minute thesis: Catalysing change – light at the end of the tunnel


Ashwin Charles Benedict, Universiti Malaysia Pahang

PhD title

Photocatalytic Degradation of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) using Solar Light


“Palm oil mill effluent (POME) is a cause for huge environmental concern in Malaysia and has raised red flags around the world as well. NGOs and WWF are putting pressure on the Malaysian government to comply with global standards in terms of river water quality while the industry is still struggling to comply with the less demanding current DOE standards. This research provides a cost effective solution which aims to use sunlight to catalytically reduce the harmful organic contents of POME and lower the chemical oxygen demand in effluents leaving palm oil mills.”

The finals of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which challenges PhD students to communicate their research in a snappy three-minute presentation, were held on the 29 September at the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. Competitors came from 55 Universities from across Australia, New Zealand and North and South-East Asia. 

The presentations were judged by distinguished figures in Australian science including Cosmos editor-in-chief Elizabeth Finkel.

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