Japanese and Vietnamese researchers have made considerable progress under a joint project on technologies to produce bio-fuels from agriculture waste, it was reported at a recent conference in Ho Chi Minh City.

The researchers have developed a sustainable model to convert bio-mass into bio-fuels such as bio-ethanol and bio-gas, Assoc Prof Vu Dinh Thanh, rector of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology ( HCM UT), told an annual symposium held to review the project in HCM City on Oct. 12.

According to Thanh, under the five-year Sustainable Integration of Local Agriculture and Biomass Industries (JICA- JST ) project, two laboratories have been set up at the HCM City University of Technology and Thai My village in the city's Cu Chi District to serve research activities.

A workshop has been set up in Thai My to pilot the bio-refinery technologies that have been developed to convert bio-mass into bio-energy.

Associate Professor Phan Dinh Tuan, head of the project, said while biogas has been used widely in rural areas in Vietnam , there is yet any technology to treat toxic gas emission from the burning of biogas.

Therefore, one of the project’s main tasks are to eliminate toxic chemicals of biogas, Tuan said, adding that researchers are also looking for ways to turn the waste of ethanol and biogas into environmental friendly fertilizer.

The JICA- JST project has been implemented in Vietnam since October 2009 by the HCMUT, the University of Tokyo , the Hanoi University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology and the Institute of Tropical Biology.

It will wrap up next September./.