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Monday, 02 September 2019

Taking research forward

RESEARCH EXCELLENCE: Prof Tunde Ojumu recently delivered his inaugural professorial lecture. RESEARCH EXCELLENCE: Prof Tunde Ojumu recently delivered his inaugural professorial lecture.

CPUT’s newly acquired supercritical extraction and fractionation pilot plant, is the first in Africa with respect to capacity and robustness.

“Our newly acquired supercritical extraction and fractionation pilot plant would not only allow extraction and fractionation of high-value products for healthy living from solid biomass, but with the facility, we have begun to develop capacity in high-pressure technology, fostering collaboration in science, medicine, botany, food, genetics and other disciplines where high pressure techniques can be harnessed to improve extraction and fractionation processes,” said Prof Tunde Ojumu from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Ojumu made the announcement while delivering his Inaugural Professorial Lecture, titled Exploitation of earth’s resources for man’s benefit: More values, more problems.

The pilot plant initiative came to being as a result of a collaboration between Ojumu and a colleague in the department, Tafirenyika Madzimbamuto.

This was made possible through the support of the National Research Fund (NRF) and the university.

Ojumu, is a NRF C-rated researcher and has published more than 80 research articles and reviews in the form of peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and presented more than 40 papers at national and international conferences.

His research interests cover Bioprocess and Environmental Engineering, with a strong focus on fermentation processes, biohydrometallurgy and materials.

He said there is increased recognition of human influence on the environment and increased concerns about the long-term consequences of the exploitation of earth’s resources on nature and the ultimate habitability of the world.

“The civilisation of this constantly changing world is based on mineral resources – most of the machines, ornaments, appliances and furniture that make life comfortable are made of metals, and some powered by fossil fuels. However, in order to meet the needs of our growing population and demands, we must employ new techniques that are more productive and efficient to produce values out of the depleting natural resources.”

He highlighted contributions aimed at promoting the values we derive from earth exploitation through biohydrometallurgy, and the contribution to alleviating resultant problems of acid mine drainage by using coal fly ash.

He has successfully supervised more than 15 Masters students and four Doctoral candidates. He is currently supervising five Doctoral and 10 Masters students at various stages of their programmes at CPUT, as well as postgraduate students registered at other institutions, locally and internationally.

Written by Ilse Fredericks


Provides coverage for the Health and Wellness Sciences and Informatics and Design Faculties.