Chemistry Society Industry Tour 2010

15 Feb

I joined fellow student chemists on a tour of some industrial plants in Misamis Oriental and Iligan Citylast February 1, 2010. We traveled from Xavier University to Villanueva, then to Iligan, and back to Xavier from 8:00 am to 9 pm.

First stop is the Philippine Sinter Corporation in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. Their main product is the sinter core used to make steel in Japan. It is a Japanese-owned company with Filipino employees.

We then proceeded to go to Iligan and had lunch on the way. An accident happened when we were in the middle of Iligan City. The second jeepney, which was a few cars behind the jeepney I rode on, bumped into the rear of the car in front when it suddenly braked. The rear bumper was clearly damaged and, to make it worse, the owners are Muslims. Now, this may be stereotyping, but they do have a reputation of taking minor infractions seriously. Fortunately, one of the students had a relative who is an official of the city, and he came to our rescue. We were allowed to go on our way. I’m not sure but, maybe, this matter will be settled through that official.

The second plant we visited was owned Mabuhay Vinyl. Their main products are caustic soda, chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, and hydrochloric acid, which are all made from industrial grade salt (sodium chloride) and no other chemical. Physical processes are employed to make these products. The wastes are metals and water vapor and they have their own waste treatment center.

I have no pictures of the plant facilities because it wasn’t allowed. However, as I saw it, it was a clean and pretty place despite being a chemical plant. They even had recreational facilities and landscaping.

The next stop was the AGUS VI Power Plant. It features the famous Maria Christina Falls. This hydroelectric power plant owned and run by the National Power Corporation produces the electricity that powers industries and lights up homes and commercial buildings in most of Mindanao.

The plant was renovated to cater to a growing tourism industry. People had already visited the plant for the same purpose and I remember going there with my family in the 1990’s. But they have added decorations and facilities that I think will make it more appealing to guests. It’s unfinished as of now but, once completed, they will also feature a zipline and white water rafting. It’s ideal to visit on the weekends because they open up the dam and to release more water into the falls.

The last stop was the Chemistry Department of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Their instruments there a old but still functioning and some were not available in my private and supposedly wealthier school. The Physics Department has a new Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer but we no longer went to see it. The university accepts requests for analysis aside from its own members. I didn’t take pictures anymore because I was too tired.

On the way back to XU, I spotted a beautiful scene of the full moon reflected on the sea in Opol, and it was right beside a pretty seaside restaurant. However, as the jeepney was running very fast, all I got was this mess of a light show.

After a long and tiring day, I got a late dinner upon arrival in Cagayan de Oro City, then went straight to bed .

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