The FIRP laboratory was founded in 1978 by professor Jean Louis Salager during the first advanced seminary on interfacial phenomena and in September 2020 arrives at 42 years. In spite of the actual difficulties in Venezuela, the FIRP laboratory has continued to do applied research in different projects for national and international companies. Publishing in different journals such as Langmuir, Energy & Fuels and the Journal of Surfactants and Detergents has also continued. In May 2019, the best article prize of the year 2018 in the area of Surfactants and Detergents of the American Cleaning Institute and the American Oil Chemists Society was awarded to the FIRP laboratory (see news here). In 2020 the American Oil Chemists Society awarded the “In memoriam Samuel Rosen” prize to professor Jean Louis Salager (see news here).
In these 42 years the FIRP laboratory has produced more than 900 publications and communications (see here the labs publications). The laboratory nowadays has a dozen of professors/retired professors and researchers, who, with the aid of the technical and administrative staff, do their best efforts to keep the same level of excellence that the laboratory has since its foundation in 1978.
The FIRP director, professor Johnny Bullón, says that the laboratory has diversified its offer to the national and international productive sector. Nowadays it not only collaborates with the petroleum industry in upgrading and dehydrating oil, but it also works with companies in the healthcare, cosmetics, personal products and detergents, among other sectors. The laboratory is developing the ULAMINA cream designed to treat Leishmaniasis in different zones of the Merida, Trujillo and neighboring states in Venezuela with very good results.
The laboratory continues academic work by training young professionals (some of them professors of the Chemical Engineering School of the Universidad de Los Andes) among them 5 pre-graduate students, 3 master students and 5 doctoral candidates. In the middle of the pandemic that affects the entire world, the laboratory continues to work with the minimum personnel capable of fulfilling the acquired compromises while keeping biosafety conditions. We hope that in 2021 we will produce more know-how in surfactants and its applications and in this way contribute to the development of our University and industry in this planet.