Tag Archives: scientist

Produce Bio-Diesel With Tea Invention by Pakistani Scientist

A Pakistani scientist has successfully invented a nano catalyst for production of bio-diesel with the help of spent tea for the first time in the world, opening up new avenues for alternative environment-friendly energy resources.

Dr. Syed Tajamul Hussain, a nano scientist working at National Center for Physics (NCP), and his research team members after untiring efforts during last one year proved with their laboratory tests that used tea can be utilized to produce bio-diesel almost free of carbon emission on commercial basis. The results of their research is going to be published in world reputed Journal of Bio-Technology in its January 2010 issue.

According to the data bio-diesel generally refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl propyl) or ethyl esters. Bio-diesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g. vegetable oil, animal fat with an alcohol. Bio-diesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils to fuel converted diesel engines. Bio-diesel can be used alone, or blended with petro-diesel.

In an interview with ‘The News’ Syed Tajamul Hussain said Pakistan is the third largest importer of tea after UK and China as it is spending $8.8 million annually for import of tea.

“The nano particles help produce 560 ml of bio-diesel from one kilogramme of used tea and if the process is carried out on commercial basis it can be a giant step towards production of alternative energy resources in the country,” he said. He said there is a global ban on production of bio-diesel with the use of edible products so they started research work on spent tea and finally they succeeded in their endeavours to use this non-edible product to prepare bio-diesel.

Tajamul Hussain said the newly invented technology can be used on commercial basis after establishment of pilot plant at the initial stage to get first hand practical experience at comparatively low capital. He said emission of carbon has become one of the grave concerns in the modern world so they tried their best to invent any new process that ensures production of bio-diesel without any chance of carbon emission.

Tajamul said if the environment ministry or any other government department extended its financial support then the plan to produce bio-diesel with the use of spent tea could be translated into reality. “The chances are also ripe for the private sector because the project would not only provide profit, but also enable the investors to claim prize money given for those projects that help reduce production of Carbon dioxide (CO2),” he said. He said petrol and diesel are produced with small and big molecules respectively and bio-diesel also falls in the category of those products that utilises big petroleum molecules.

Tajamul said the research work also showed that spent tea can also be used for production of alcohol that is quite new because spent coffee had been widely used for the purpose, but no one tried to utilise used tea even in the countries like UK and USA where tea users are in large number.

Via The News


Dr Abdus Salam First Pakistani Noble Prize Holder

It should be a moment of deep reflection for all of us. He would have been as great a man as he was even if he did not won the Nobel Award in physics. But we would have conveniently forgotten him. That he did win the Nobel Award is a source of cosmetic and hollow pride for many Pakistanis. Cosmetic and hollow because it is also a source of visible unease. Even when we acknowledge that he was a great scientist (after all, the Nobel Committee thought so), we are uncomfortable acknowledging that he was a great man whose significance goes beyond his science.

As a brutally honest editorial in today’s Daily Times points out, “we are scared of honoring Dr. Salam.” We must not be.

The Daily Times editorial says all that needs to be said; it is worth reading, worth thinking about, and worth quoting in full:

The tragedy of our treatment of Dr Abdus Salam

Dr Abdus Salam (1926-1996) died ten years ago. He was the first Pakistani to get a Nobel Prize in 1979. But he might be the last if we continue to allow our state to evolve in a way that frightens the rest of the world. Our collective psyche runs more to accepted ‘wisdom’ than to scientific inquiry; and even if we were to display an uncharacteristic outcropping of individual genius the world may be so frightened of it that it might not give us our deserts.

We are scared of honouring Dr Salam because of our constitution which we have amended to declare his community as ‘non-Muslim’. When Dr Salam died in 1996 he had to be buried in Pakistan because he refused to give up his Pakistani nationality and acquire another that respected him more. But the Pakistani state was afraid of touching his dead body. He was therefore buried in Rabwa, the home town of his Ahmedi community whose name is also unacceptable to us and has been changed to Chenab Nagar by a state proclamation. But that was not the end of the story. After he was buried, the pious, law-abiding and constitution-loving people of Jhang, which is nearby, went over to Chenab Nagar to see if all had been done according to the constitutional provisions regarding the Ahmedi community to which he belonged.
And what did the constitution say? It said that the Ahmedis are not Muslims, that they may not call themselves Muslims, nor say the kalima or use any of the symbols of Islam. The original amendments to the constitution were passed by Z A Bhutto, a ‘liberal socialist-democrat’, and subsequent tightening of the law was done by the great patriot General Zia-ul Haq. Thus both the civilians and the khakis had connived in the great betrayal of Dr Salam.
After the great scientist was buried in Chenab Nagar, his tombstone said “Abdus Salam the First Muslim Nobel Laureate”. Needless to say, the police arrived with a magistrate and rubbed off the ‘Muslim’ part of the katba. Now the tombstone says: Abdus Salam the First Nobel Laureate. The magistrate remained unfazed by what he had done but Dr Salam’s grave is actually the tombstone of a Muslim culture that Pakistan had inherited from the founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. But ironies fly thick in Pakistan. In Jhang, for example, where Dr Salam grew up as a precocious child, the schools that he endowed with scholarships and grants now teach communal hatred rather than the love that he had in mind when he gave them his money.
Meanwhile, the Ahmedi community is under daily pressure and anyone with a twisted mind is free to persecute them.

Abdus Salam was born in Jhang in 1926. At the age of 14, he got the highest marks ever recorded for the Matriculation Examination in Punjab. The whole town turned out to welcome him. He won a scholarship to Government College, Lahore, and took his MA in 1946. In the same year he was awarded a scholarship to St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he took a BA (honours) with a double First in mathematics and physics in 1949. In 1950 he received the Smith’s Prize from Cambridge University for the most outstanding pre-doctoral contribution to physics. He also obtained a PhD in theoretical physics at Cambridge; his thesis, published in 1951, contained fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics which had already gained him an international reputation.

In 1954 Dr Salam left his native country for a lectureship at Cambridge University. Before the Pakistani politicians apostatised him, he was a member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, a member of the Scientific Commission of Pakistan and Chief Scientific Adviser to the President from 1961 to 1974. Pakistan’s space research agency Suparco was created by him and it is only symbolic that a group of Shia workers of Suparco were put to death in Karachi in 2004 by sectarian terrorists. Like Dr Salam, a lot of gifted Shia doctors have had to leave Pakistan because of the state’s twisted policies.

Dr Abdus Salam got his Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979. It was a most embarrassing moment for General Zia who had “supplemented” the Second Amendment to the constitution with further comic disabilities against the Ahmedis. He had to welcome the great scientist and had to be seen with him on TV. Since the clerical part of his government was already bristling, he took care to clip those sections of Dr Salam’s speech where he had said the kalima or otherwise used an Islamic expression. It was Dr Salam’s good luck that one of the believers did not go to court under Zia’s own laws to get the country’s only Nobel laureate sent to prison for six months of rigorous imprisonment. Dr Salam then went to India where he was received with great fanfare. He had gone there to simply meet his primary school mathematics teacher who was still alive. When the two met, Dr Salam took off his Nobel medal and put it around the neck of his teacher.

Let us admit in a whisper that Pakistan did issue a stamp commemorating Dr Salam years ago lest the government come under pressure to remove it from circulation. It is also true that his alma mater, Government College Lahore, now a university, has named certain ancillary departments and academic sessions after him following a long period of obscurantist domination. But Pakistan needs to feel guilty about what it has done to the greatest scientist it ever produced in comparison to the lionisation of Dr AQ Khan who has brought ignominy and the label of “rogue state” to Pakistan by selling the country’s nuclear technology for personal gain. Can we redeem ourselves by doing something in Dr Salam’s memory on this 10th anniversary of his passing that would please his soul and cleanse ours?

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