For 2011, Dr. Ernesto del Rosario was one of the elected members of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST Phl) in recognition of his outstanding scientific and technological accomplishments such as his pioneering research and development (R&D) work on novel and practical ethanol fermentation processes from various substrates and his important researches on Enzymology and membrane-based molecular separation processes. Academy membership is by peer recognition that have demonstrated and earned distinction in various scientific and technological undertakings.
His work on the practical ethanol fermentation processes was significant for bioethanol production in support of the 2007 Biofuels Law. On the other hand, his studies on Enzymology has provided basic procedures for the local production of some important enzymes for industrial applications; his researches on the membrane-based molecular separation processes contributed essential data to its development for local industrial applications.
Dr. del Rosario has also done work on decolorization of alcohol distillery affluent various methods which provided alternative solutions towards solving the important problem of color pollution by distilleries. Moreover, his research on the development of fermentation processes for the production of food yeast either on coconut water or on acid hydrolysate of rice straw was made available for utilizing important agricultural by-products in the production of a high protein food supplement.
A number of his research activities were also attributed on his studies in conducting organic polymers. One study which he co-authored with his M.S. thesis advisee was presented in the 2005 POLYCHAR World Forum on Advanced Materials in Singapore has potential applications in microelectronic industries worldwide.
Dr. del Rosario has produced a sum total of 123 scientific and technological applications (including two approved patents) of which 35 are listed in ISI journals and three publications earned the NAST Outstanding Scientific Paper award in 1994, 1999, and 2010 respectively. He and his co-workers have presented a number of scientific/ technical papers in local and international conferences/ symposia which totalled 200 papers, eight of which obtained the best paper award.
Furthermore, Dr. del Rosario was instrumental in teaching several undergraduate and post-graduate courses in various chemistry subjects and in improving laboratory instruction in Physical Chemistry at the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB). He served as Director at the Institute of Chemistry for nine years and Associate Dean at the College of Arts and Sciences at UPLB for three years.
Dr. del Rosario is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines Diliman (magna cum laude). He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Cornell University in 1966 and 1970, respectively.
He is currently Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of the Philippines Los Banos teaching graduate courses in Physical Chemistry and Enzyme Chemistry. He is presently involved in researches focusing on production of bioethanol from cellulosics and algae, development of digital photometric methods in chemical and post-harvest analyses, and heavy metal remediation using natural polymers. Luningning Samarita, Executive Director, NAST