In FY2011, fifteen people from nine countries took part in the New Energy Federation (NEF)’s Asia Biomass Invitation Researchers Program. Since December 2011 we have been introducing the research activities of these NEF invitation researchers that they carried out all over Japan.
Dr. Sopheak Rey (from Cambodia)
Photo. Dr. Sopheak Ray (left)
and Dr. Chihiro Kondo (right)
In FY2011 biomass researchers from nine countries in Southeast Asia lived and performed research in Japan, with Dr. Rey visiting Japan as the first NEF invitation researcher from Cambodia. This is the second time that Dr. Rey has been living and performing research in Japan, with the first time being when he was enrolled at Kyoto University for three years living as a student during a doctoral course.
He spent his time researching in Japan at the laboratory of Professor Koji Yamane at the University of Shiga Prefecture. Under Dr. Chihiro Kondo, he has been studying the theme of basic research on the mixed combustion of jatropha oil and biogas derived from agricultural residue. He came to Japan in September 2011 and will return home in March 2012. In Cambodia he joined the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, where he conducts research on the gasification and generation of electricity from rice husks and other types of agricultural waste.
Cambodia depends on electricity from heavy oil fuel and diesel fuel, as well as imported electricity from Thailand and Vietnam, for more than 80% of its electrical energy. The government plans to reduce diesel fuel consumption by 50% and replace this with energy from biomass in the future. It will gasify the abundant agricultural waste found in Cambodia and use this as fuel for generating electricity.
Photo. Dr. Sopheak Ray in the laboratory
The electrification rate in Cambodia is 29% generally, and particularly low for households in rural areas at 12.3%. Dr. Rey has embraced a plan to, as he puts it, “Combine Japan's technology for biomass gasification and power generation with the abundant biomass resources from agricultural waste in Cambodia in order to conduct an electricity project in Cambodia to raise its electrification rate.”