Renewable green energy will be created from organic waste discharged in industrial-agricultural activities in Mekong Delta region through a new project funded by the Japanese Government.

The project will be carried out by the Vietnam National University-HCM City's (VNU-HCM) Laboratory for Nanotechnology (LNT) in cooperation with Japan's Kyushu University.

Researchers at LNT and Kyushu University have proposed using sludge and bio-wastes from shrimp ponds to produce electricity with a new generation of fuel cells developed by Kyushu University.

The project would help solve existing problems involving water treatment, the use of organic waste in agricultural activities, and production of renewable energy for farming, said Prof Nguyen Hoi Nghia, vice president of VNU-HCM.

Prof Dang Mau Chien, director of LNT, said that organic waste at the bottom of shrimp ponds was harming the environment and causing disease among shrimp and fish.

The waste would be pumped out of ponds and transferred to methane-fermentation reactors to produce bio-gas, he said.

Bio-gas would be supplied to solid-oxide fuel cells to produce electricity, which would then be used for air supply systems, pumps and water-circulating systems of shrimp ponds, he added.

With technology support from Kyushu University, Vietnam can develop a closed-cycle shrimp farm model, where electricity and heat energy are produced from bio-gas (from waste in shrimp farming) at high efficiency (90 percent) over a large area.

The project, part of a Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development Programme, has received non-refundable Official Development Assistance from the Japanese Government.

The tentative duration is 60 months, from April 2015 to March 2020. Total funding is over 3.6 million USD, of which ODA funds are 299.7 million JPY (3 million USD), and the budget from the Vietnamese Government is 12.8 billion VND (607,254 USD).-VNA

The project will help LNT establish the first SOFC lab in Vietnam and receive modern instruments for SOFC research. LNT will receive new technology transferred from Japanese specialists and highly trained employees.

The project's official name is Sustainable Development of Rural Area by Effective Utilisation of Bio-waste with Highly Efficient Fuel Cell Technology.-VNA