Project 6: Laboratory Analytics Development

Project Coordination:

Faculty: Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences

Project Leader: Prof Habauka Kwaambwa
Project Collaborators: Dr Julien Lusilao, Dr Marius Mutorwa


Strategic Partners:

o Namibia Biomass Industry Group (NBiG)

NBiG is an industry organisation to serve and grow the Namibian biomass industry. They are a hub of biomass information and are actively involved in biomass and other industry related policy development frameworks.



The specific deliverables are:

This project stretches over a period of 2.5 year.

(1) The development of biomass analytical methods (related to the project) for physicochemical characterisation,

(2) To train 2x BSc Honours students to provide analytical services,

(3) To provide analytical services to the project, industry partners and community at large, and

(4) The development of an operational model for a decentralised analytical service centre.

Currently many analytical tests must be sent outside of Namibia to be completed. This is costly and time consuming within the emerging biomass industry in Namibia. The Department of Natural and Applied Sciences (DNAS) as part of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences has the expertise and a wide range for analytical equipment. The Faculty of Engineering has also several pieces of equipment for materials testing of mechanical and physical properties. DNAS is currently working with NBIG to carry out sample analyses such as ash content, calorimetric, inorganic, organic and nutritional analyses of different plant biomass. Two students are working on this collaboration effort for their BSc Honours research projects. This will involve provision of analytical services ranging from environmental monitoring and analyses to the quality control of the products across the various work packages as well as the Namibian community at large. In addition to develop analytical protocols, analytical services will be provided to all work packages and the community at large. The analyses will be mostly performed by BSc Honours students as part of the research projects. DNAS can therefore serve as a strategic partner in building up dedicated analytical services.

The long-term goal is to establish a competent analytical service centre for a wide range of industries and applications. The analytical service centre will offer services ranging from environmental monitoring and analysis to raw material and product quality. Different operator models are to be considered, including direct cooperation with private sector entities, such as N-BiG. Further, the viability of decentral spin-offs, e.g. dedicated analytical laboratories at biomass hubs will be assessed.