UniPort Takes Pole Position At 2016 CSN Int’l Confab, Exhibition


The University of Port Harcourt exhibited its trademark uniqueness by harvesting virtually all the major prizes on offer at the 39thAnnual International Conference, Exhibition, Workshop and General Meeting of the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN) tagged “Garden City 2016.”
The well-attended event which held at the Law Auditorium of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology between September 18 and 23, 2016, had: “The Role of Hydrocarbons and the Application of Chemistry in the Emerging Trend of Global Energy Innovation” as its theme, with participants drawn from every state of the federation and outside Nigeria. 
Briefing UniPort Weekly in her office on the outstanding performance of the University contingent to the Conference on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Head of the Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Professor Gloria Obuzor, expressed joy that her Department did not only participate actively, with two staff,  Drs. Kaine Okorosaye-Orubite and Millicent Ibezim-Ezeanyi serving as Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and Welfare/Accommodation Sub-Committee, respectively, but researchers from the Department also distinguished themselves at the international gathering of Chemists by carting away the first, second and third prizes in that order, leaving competitors from other universities to go home empty-handed.  
Professor Obuzor, who is the President of CSN, disclosed that a paper entitled: “Adsorption of Synthetic Organic Chemicals (SOCs) in Aqueous Solution Using Carbonised and Surface-Modified Carbons Produced from Nipa Palm (Nypa Fruticans Wurmb) Leaves”, presented by Pereware Adowei, Augustus Abia and Ayebaemi Spiff won first position in the paper presentation category. 
“On the product exhibition category,  Ukalina Mango Wine,  which I produced won the first prize, while a laboratory technologist, Simeon Uchendu and a technician, Chioma Agharuoka from the Department won the second position with the exhibition of Aluminium sulphate commonly called Alummade from empty malt drink can (Aluminium waste). This research is from a waste-to-wealth project that I supervised.  With this result, we hope to have a place where empty cans of drink would be deposited to enable us produce more alum. This can be used for treatment of water, dyeing of fabrics and paper production,” she said, disclosing plans to incorporate skills into the undergraduate programme to assist students of the Department become self-reliant on graduation.
Professor Obuzor further disclosed that the third position went to a Senior Lecturer in the Department, Dr. Abosede James, who exhibited JABOL Liquid Soap she produced, explaining that the product was unique because of its economical use for domestic washing, disclosing plans to produce shampoo and other products in future. 
She attributed the first, second and third prizes won in the product exhibition category to skilful presentation of the equation behind the products. “Anybody can produce anything, but only professional Chemists can provide equation of the reactant and the product.  As Chemists, we did not just exhibit our products, we also showed professionalism by demonstrating the equations of everything we exhibited from reactant to the product,” the CSN President explained.
“As if not to be left out, a Doctoral degree candidate, Itohowo Akpan, jointly supervised by Professor Regina Ogali and Ozioma Achugasim, won the second position in the IUPAC Poster Prize category. The uniqueness of the certificate is that it was sponsored by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and it gives the winners free access to IUPAC magazine for one year,” she said, disclosing that her request to the President of IUPAC, Professor Natalia Tarasova, during a conference in South Korea last year to support CSN gave rise to the Prize. The Dead of Department also expressed satisfaction that sustained grooming and mentorship given to students of the Department was finally paying off handsomely as was exemplified by their spectacular performance at the just-concluded CSN Conference at RSUST.  


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