A KHON KAEN University professor died last evening in Sakon Nakhon province after an incinerator he created to turn plastic waste to oil exploded with one other person being injured in this accident, Naewna newspaper said today (June 4).
At 6.10 p.m. Pol. Col. Puttinan Amphan, superintendent of the Mueang Sakon Nakhon police station, together with other policemen, rescuers and a doctor arrived at the municipality’s waste disposal site where they found the professor, Mr. Pichai (surname withheld), 41, a native of Khon Kaen province and a professor at the university there, dead at the spot where the incinerator had exploded.
The injured man was quickly rushed to Sakon Nakhon Hospital.
The deceased professor had come to this province to test his project to extract oil from plastic waste, a process known as pyrolysis, by using the large incinerator.
Police suspect that the apparatus had overheated causing it to explode. However the real cause is still being thoroughly investigated.
Reporters later went to this waste disposal site where they met Sakon Nakhon city Mayor Mr. Komut Teekhathananon and other officials who were closely inspecting the site of the research accident.
Mr. Rungroj Kotprom, head of the Civil Works Division, that is in charge of the waste dump, said this was the deceased professor’s project with Sakon Nakhon municipality having signed a memorandum of understanding with Khon Kaen University to work on extracting oil from plastic waste.
The professor was in charge of designing, procuring and building the apparatus and had then got two steel furnaces built with each measuring six metres long and two metres wide and two sides enclosed over two years of research and development.
The project had been given 137 million baht to turn plastic waste at this dump, covering 160 rai, into oil with 80-100 tonnes of waste being discarded here daily.
The site of the accident where the professor tested an incinerator to convert plastic waste to oil died after it exploded. Photos: Naewna