25 May, 2020
PAMSA extends application deadline for its bursary and research programme
The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) has
extended the deadline for applications in its Masters of Engineering
(M.Eng.) bursary and research programme until 22 June. The programme
offers eligible BSc chemical engineering final-year students or
graduates the opportunity to further their studies at participating
universities by way of a R260,000 bursary over two years.
PAMSA, which represents the majority of South African pulp and paper producers,
focuses its research on biotechnology in the pulp, paper, tissue and
paper packaging sectors. The programme requires that the applicants have
a good academic record and show interest in areas such as bioresource
engineering, separation technology, waste valorisation, water technology
and novel materials using wood or paper fibre.
An example is the research of Stellenbosch University student, Qiniso
Ngiba. Ngiba is exploring the use of pulp and paper mill waste liquor
for the production of organic slow-release nitrogen fertiliser that
would act as artificial humus for soil enrichment in agriculture.
Karina van der Merwe, a North West University student, explains how
her Masters project entailed making paper sludge-based biochar through
hydrothermal liquefaction, an alternative to pyrolysis.
"While pyrolysis requires feedstock with a low moisture content,
hydrothermal liquefaction welcomes feedstock with a high moisture
content as water is one of the reagents needed for the reactions to
occur. The biochar was then used as an adsorbent* to clean industrial
wastewater produced by a local paper mill as pollutants adhere to a
surface of the biochar."
"The science and chemistry behind wood, pulp and paper products, and
its process waste, presents our industry and country with some unique
opportunities for the circular economy," says Jane Molony, PAMSA
executive director. "By working with the South African universities,
PAMSA has for the past decade been able to open bright young minds to
the opportunities and kickstart successful careers at member companies' mills."
Applications must be done online by 22 June.
More details and the online application form are available on www.thepaperstory.co.za or PAMSA's social channels under @paperrocksza.
* An adsorbent is a material which will allow a liquid, gas or
dissolved solid to adhere to its surface. An absorbent is a material
which will take in the liquid or gas uniformly.