Center for International Education
December 2006

P.T. Vasudevan, Professor of Chemical Engineering

Professor P.T. Vasudevan traveled to Portugal to participate in a conference, Bioenergy: From Concept to Commercial Processes, organized by the Engineering Conferences International.


Professor Vasudevan at Roman ruins in Conimbriga, Portugal.

I recently attended a conference on 'Bioenergy: From Concept to Commercial Processes,' organized by the Engineering Conferences International. The conference was held in Tomar (about 135 km northeast of Lisbon), Portugal. Tomar is divided by the River Nabão, the banks of which contain weirs and wheels once used to water vegetable gardens and orchards.

The objective of the Engineering Conferences Foundation is to advance engineering science and practice by identifying and developing international interdisciplinary conferences. Thus there were speakers from 26 different countries and from a variety of disciplines. The conference addressed the state-of-the-art challenges toward the production of bioenergy and the research being conducted to solve the technical, scientific and economical barriers to wide-spread adoption. Talks focused on current progress that has been made in bioenergy research and also identified new promising future directions of bioenergy. Topics included bioethanol and butanol production, biogas (methane) and biohydrogen processes, biodiesel and biorefinery integration, microbial fuel cells, biomass thermal conversion and related environmental issues and policies. My talk on "Biodiesel production by enzymatic transesterification of olive oil" was very well received. For the full report, visit