August 24, 2008

Experiential Learning Through Projects

A group of seven researchers from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) successfully invented "Greenphylic", a polymer (similar to plastic), that dilutes in water.

It has proven to be a solution to the slow degradable process of plastic these days, which can reach up to 100 years of decomposing.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering lecturer, Professor Dr. Ramiah Jegatheesan stated that the discovery of this dilutive plastic can solve all problems in regards to plastic usage faced before this.

He also mentioned that to date, they have prepared a few medication bags, rubbish bags and plastic wrappers using Greenphylic.

"The decomposing issue of plastic has been a reoccuring hot topic on international forums. You can now consider the problem resolved."

Greenphylic was created with the collaborative team work of students from various engineering disciplines namely Hasam Mahmoud Gamal Eldin (Electrical & Electronic), Mohammad Faizal Che Daud (Chemical), Ahmad Ridhwan Hassan (Mechanical), Mohd Anuar Sulaiman (Mechanical), Nordiana Khalil (Civil) and Norhidayah Usop (Chemical).

He states that Greenphylic is a synthetic polymer made of polyvinyl alcohol that is water soluble.

The material, which looks a lot like a plastic film, is strong and durable, yet melts in water.

"This new polymer looks like plastic but is stronger. When you are done using it, you just put it in water. It will melt. The components are harmless and any colour used is food colouring," he says.

"The best thing is the polymer has zero disposal cost as it dissolves in water and is disposed of safely".

"There is no cost to decompose this new discovery due to its nature of easily diluting in water. We also have the best formula to ensure that this invention does not burden users due to its nature of dissolving in water while in use."

"Many are interested in our research and the execution of commercialising it will be done as soon as the patent is approved".

The success of the UTP research team in creating Greenphylic has received both, local and international recognition in conjunction with the Innovation, Invention and Technology Exhibition 2008 (ITEX 08). The creation won a gold medal for Best University/ Institute Research, and two international awards for Best Invention.

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