Dr. Pornkamol Unrean, BIOTEC Researcher based at Biochemical Engineering and Pilot Plant Research and Development Laboratory was honored with the 2014 TRF-CHE-Scopus Young Researcher Award in the field of Engineering & Multidisciplinary Technology for her work on “Systematic Bioprocess Development of Sustainable Biofuel Production”.

Her research aims to systematically develop an efficient, robust and economical process for production of valuable biofuel from lignocellulosic biomass using the combined approaches of metabolic network model, statistical analysis, kinetic-based model, co-culture fermentation technology and scale-up research. The work includes an elucidation of oxidative stress affecting ethanol production in yeast using metabolic pathway analysis; rational design of efficient yeast cells based on metabolic network model; development of optimized co-culture system through statistical analysis; and systematic design of efficient fed-batch process by kinetic model.

These developed combinatorial tools will make it possible to realize the full potential of the available precursors and to maximize the profitability of an industrial biofuel production process. They could also be further applied to design and develop other bio-based production process for industrial applications.

TRF-CHE-Scopus Researcher Awards are established by the Thailand Research Fund (TRF), Office of the Higher Education Commission (CHE) and Elsevier to recognize outstanding and exemplary new researchers (young research awards) and mid-career researchers (researcher awards) who have received grants from The Thailand Research Fund (TRF) and Office of the Higher Education Commission (CHE).  The awards have been given about annually since 2009 in the following fields: Life Sciences & Agricultural Sciences, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences (including ChemicalEngineering), Engineering & Multidisciplinary Technology, Health Sciences, Physical Sciences (including Mathematics & Physics), and Humanities & Social Sciences.