24 February 2014 (Monday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) researchers took home one Gold and two Silver medals for the Invention and Innovation Awards at the 13th Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2014 recently.
The expo, held from 20 to 22 February at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, was officiated by the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Datuk Dr. Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, who also presented the Invention and Innovation Awards on 21 February.
MTE, organised by the Malaysian Association Research Scientists (MARS) and PROTEMP Exhibitions Sdn Bhd, is an annual business meeting place for technocrats, inventors, licensors, distributors and manufacturers to share knowledge and forge strategic business partnerships.
MTE 2014 exhibited more than 700 local and international innovations and creations, products, designs and ideas with potential for commercialisation.
The FRIM research team, led by Dr Rushdan Ibrahim and comprising Dr Sharmiza Adnan, Nurul Husna Mohd Hassan, Ainun Zuriyati Mohamed and Mahmudin Salleh, won the Gold medal for the innovation developed through their project on “Mathematical Models for Alkaline Pulp and Paper Properties of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fibre”.
The project was to develop mathematical models for alkaline pulp and paper properties based on experimental data and to determine the optimum alkaline pulping parameters for a desired pulp and paper quality.
The mathematical models would serve as a guide in producing all types of paper from alkaline pulp of oil palm empty fruit brunches (EFB). Malaysia generated about 20 million tonnes of EFB industrial residues, which contains lignocelluloses fibres for making pulp and paper.
The other two innovations which won the Silver were “RoVBAM Plyboard for Panel Furniture and Interior Products” and “The Production of Moulded Rotary Veneer Bamboo (RoVBAM) Chair” developed by a team of researchers led by Dr Abdul Hamid Salleh.
Other researchers involved in the project included Yanti Abdul Kadir, Tuan Tuan Mohd Anis Nadia Saipudin, Dr Hamdan Husain, Dato’ Dr Marzalina Mansor, Khairul Masseat, Siti Zalifah Mahmud, Siti Rafedah Abd Karim, Mohd Mokhtar Sopian, Othman Mohd Desa and Ab Jalil Muhammad.
RoVBAM is the first technology of producing bamboo veneers in Malaysia using rotary peeling technique. Bamboo is an eco-friendly material and bamboo veneer can be used as value-added products specifically in the production of panel products. Thus, it can be used as alternative raw material for the furniture industry.
Veneers with less desired length can be used to produce smaller items such as interior products or souvenirs in order to minimise wastage and maximise the usage of bamboo.
The RoVBAM Chair adapted the use of veneer as bamboo veneer has an attractive and elegant appearance. The distinctive feature of bamboo veneer compared to other wood veneer is that it retains the natural characteristics of bamboo nodes.
The chair can be designed in various shapes depending on the creativity of designers. The design will be translated into a mold and pressed through heating process.
For any query regarding the mathematical models, please contact Dr Rushdan via email: firstname.lastname@example.org; and on RoVBAM, email Dr Hamid or Yanti at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.