About Us


The institute started its activities in 1963 as a teaching unit of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department at the National University at Bahía Blanca (UNS). In 1973, by agreement between the National University at Bahía Blanca and the National Research Council of Argentina, PLAPIQUI became part of the national research institutes.

Planta Piloto de Ingeniería Química

Is an institute devoted to teaching, research and development of technology in chemical engineering, supported by the National Research Council in Argentina (CONICET) and the National University at Bahía Blanca (UNS). It is located in the city of Bahía Blanca, at the south of the Buenos Aires province.

Main Objectives

  • To do research and development oriented to generate scientific and technological knowledge in chemistry, petrochemistry, food and materials.
  • To provide higher quality education at the graduate and postgraduate levels in chemical and food engineering and related subjects.
  • To transfer knowledge and technology to the industrial sector by means of engineering and development projects, technical services, training and continuing education programmes.
  • To transfer knowledge to the society in general by means of education and information activities.




Board of Directors

Is the ambit to discuss broad courses of action and policies to be implemented in organization, academic problems, research groups, improvements in the organization of services, promotion of technology transfer activities, human resources development, organization of the growth of the institute, including development of new areas of research.

Principal Members

Dr. José A. Bandoni
Dr. Aníbal Blanco
Dr. Daniel O. Borio
Dra. Adriana Brandolín
Dr. Guillermo Crapiste
Dra. Andrea Eberhardt
Ing. Claudia Llanos
Dra. Selva Pereda
Dra. Juliana Piña
Dra. María A. Volpe

Substitute Members

Dr. Daniel Ercoli
Dr. Diego Genovese
Ing. Yanina Maidana
Dra. Marisa N. Pedernera
Dra. Lidia Quinzani
Dra. Gabriela M. Tonetto


Information and Documentation Service

The Service administrate a specialised Library which has over 6000 volumes of books and encyclopaedias, and several hundred titles in periodic publications. Currently, the library subscribes to forty periodical journals. Other resources are: access to remote databases, digital books and journals, and on-line catalogues.

Computing Service

Is in charge of the administration of a local area network that inter-connects over a hundred and eighty personal computers, and provides services such as electronic mail, Internet access, FTP, shared resources and the maintenance of the institute library’s database.

Administrative Service

The treasure office is in charge of the bank accounts management and payment of suppliers, does the accounts of the research grants and elaborates the administrative and accounting reports.

Purchasing Office

Is in charge of all the purchasing procedures (search and selection of local and foreign suppliers, placing pro-forma invoice and purchase orders and receipt of goods.

General Services Workshop

It responsibilities includes control and general maintenance of the building, the machine room, the air conditioning, heating and electrical supplies; the main supplies for the laboratories and the pilot plant areas like compressed air, vapour, vacuum and nitrogen. Also activities related to design, construction of laboratory and bench scale equipment, construction of special spare parts following the requirements of the research activities carried out at PLAPIQUI.


Laboratories of the Foods Area

  • Samples Preparation
  • Physical Properties
  • Chromatography
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Chemistry

Laboratories of the Catalysis Area

  • Catalysts Preparation
  • Catalysts Characterization
  • Catalytic Reactions
  • Surfaces Analysis

Laboratories of the Polymers Area

  • FTIR-Micro FTIR – Thermal Analysis (DSC, TGA, TMA)
  • Optical Microscopy – Ultramicrotomy
  • Mechanical and Rheological Properties
  • Capillary Viscosimetry – Osmometry
  • Gel Permeation Chromatography
  • Anionic Synthesis
  • Optical Properties
  • Samples Preparation

Laboratories of the Chemical Reactors Area

  • Structured Reactors
  • Batch Reactors

Laboratories of the Thermodynamics Area

  • Process Thermodynamics
  • Termodynamics – High Pressure

Particle Technology Laboratories

Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

Pilot Plants Area

The institute started its activities in 1963 as a teaching unit of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department at the National University at Bahía Blanca (UNS).

The first research areas are initiated in 1969 (Catalysis), Chemical Reactors (in 1971) and Polymers (in 1972).

In 1973, by agreement between the National University at Bahía Blanca and the National Research Council of Argentina, PLAPIQUI is recognised as a national research Institute.

In 1977 The Research and Development Program for the Bahía Blanca Petrochemical Complex (PIDCOP) was established with the support of two United Nations Organisations (UNDP/UNIDO).

FUNDASUR (Foundation for Technological Development) was created in 1979 to provide the necessary legal and administrative framework for the activities of PLAPIQUI to the industrial sector.

PLAPIQUI started the Graduate Programmes in Chemical Engineering: Master (in 1979) and Doctoral (in 1982).

During 1992 and 1996, an agreement between the Inter-American Development Bank and CONICET provides important loans for research, which make equipment and bibliography updates possible.

In 1997 PLAPIQUI moves to it present site at the Scientific and Technological Centre of CONICET at Bahía Blanca.

In 2001 the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department was suppressed by UNS in order to create the Chemistry Department and the Chemical Engineering Department, in which PLAPIQUI is the main constituent.

In 2004, on the basis of a proposal drawn within PLAPIQUI, the University approved the creation of the Master’s Program in Petrochemical Processes Engineering, designed especially for professionals working in companies or other non-academic activities.

In 2007 CONICET created the Science and Technology Center CONICET Bahía Blanca, settling a functional structure that responds to a new strategy of CONICET for the organization of its research institutes and service centers.

In 2009 a new agreement between UNS and CONICET was signed. This agreement establishes the guidelines of the new policy for the dual dependancy research institutes under the jurisdiction of this two national organisms.

That same year PLAPIQUI decides to give his endorsement to the incorporation of a linked group located at the Faculty of Engineering of the National University of Córdoba. This group is conformed mostly of young researchers who conducted their doctoral thesis at PLAPIQUI. The creation of this group was approved by CONICET during 2010.

PLAPIQUI established two priority research areas:

  • Petrochemical and oil technology.
  • Food technology and agricultural resources.

Food Engineering

Studies the process and equipment used for physical and chemical transformation of fruits, vegetables and oilseeds. The objectives are to optimise manufacturing and preservation processes, to improve product quality from an organoleptic and nutritional point of view, and to obtain new products or by-products.


The research activities of the group working on catalysis are focused on the preparation, characterisation and evaluation of catalytic materials and catalysts of interest for chemical and petrochemical industries.

Polymer Science and Technology

The research and development activities involve studies in almost all branches of polymer science. This includes synthesis, characterisation, modification, study of final and flow properties and processing of polymeric materials. The Group aim to develop projects of both scientific and technological interest for the production and processing industry.

Process Engineering

Performs research and development in the areas of process synthesis and design, optimisation, production planning and process control. The group is active in scientific and technical assistance to the chemical, petrochemical and gas processing industries.

Parcticle Technology

Is interested in the design and processing of materials that are particulate in nature, focusing on the modeling, simulation, optimization and control of granulation processes used to produce fertilizers and on the development of new particulate pharmaceutical and food products with desired attributes by using the spray drying or chilling techniques.

Process Thermodynamics

The research activities are focussed on thermodynamic properties prediction and the phase equilibrium engineering applied to the separation and reaction processes of the petrochemical and natural gas industries, to the recovery of natural products and to environmental protection problems.

Reactions Engineering

Research in the Area of Reactions Engineering focuses on the study of different types of reactors and chemical and biological reactions, covering both theoretical and experimental tasks.

The Graduate Program in Chemical Engineering, started in 1979. It is offered by the Chemical Engineering Department of the National University at Bahía Blanca, following the criteria established by the graduate studies directives.
Master and Doctoral degrees can be obtained in the following subjects:

  • Chemical Engineering.
  • Food Science and Technology.
  • Materials Science and Technology.
  • Petrochemical Processes Engineering.

Professors from other Academic Departments and Researchers from PLAPIQUI also direct thesis in other graduate programs offered by the University, such as:

  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science.
  • Physics.
  • Biology.
  • Engineering.
  • Biochemistry.

Doctorate Program

This Program last four years and applicants must approve five fundamental courses and five specialisation courses and a proficiency in english exam. A thesis must be developed.

Applicants which have a Master degree in chemical engineering from other Universities, must also approve ten courses, five of which at least must be taken in this Program.

Master Program

The Program can be completed in two years and requires the approval of five courses (four fundamental and one specialisation courses).

Also needs the approval of a proficiency in english exam and the development of a thesis.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Nora Pascual
Camino La Carrindanga Km 7
8000 – Bahía Blanca – Argentina
Phone: +54 291 4861700 ext. 218
Fax: +54 291 4861600
e-mail: npascual@plapiqui.edu.ar

Courses Programmed for 2016

Fundamentos de Reologia de Fluidos Complejos

Dra. Lidia M. Quinzani
Inicio: 29 de febrero

Cálculos Avanzados en Ingeniería Química I

Dra. María Soledad Diaz; Dra. Patricia M. Hoch
Inicio: 4 de abril

Mecánica de Fluidos Avanzada

Dra. Lidia M. Quinzani
Inicio: 4 de abril

Diseño Avanzado de Reactores

Dr. Daniel O. Borio
Inicio: 6 de abril

Catálisis Heterogénea

Dr. Daniel E. Damiani
Inicio: 19 de abril

Ingeniería de Alimentos

Dra. Amalia A. Carelli
Inicio: 18 de abril

Termodinámica Avanzada

Dr. Marcelo S. Zabaloy; Dr. Esteban A. Brignole
Inicio: 10 de agosto

Modelado de Sistemas con Decisiones Discretas

Dr. Aldo R. Vecchietti (UTN FR Santa Fe)
Inicio: junio (a confirmar)

Fenómenos de Transporte: Transferencia de Calor y Materia

Dra. Claudia Sarmoria
Inicio: 11 de agosto

Preservación de Alimentos

Dra. María E. Carrín; Dra. Noemí A. Andreucetti
Inicio: Segundo cuatrimestre

PLAPIQUI undertakes technology transfer activities in subjects related to it research areas to the local and foreign industrial sectors. These activities are carried out under the framework provided by the Fundación del Sur para el Desarrollo Tecnológico (FUNDASUR), an institution recognised by CONICET as a Technical Liaison Unit, which acts as a link between the scientific and productive sectors.

The main fields in which PLAPIQUI has developed expertise and capabilities are: chemistry and petrochemistry; natural gas and petroleum; polymer and catalytic materials; food (fruits and vegetables); oleochemistry; environmental issues; technological risk; renewable natural resources and human resources development.

To date, significant technological and institutional outcomes have been achieved, such as: more than 500 technological projects and 3,500 technical services carried out for more than 370 national and foreign companies and institutions, and about 6,100 hours of courses for technicians and professionals developed.

These activities cover subjects such as:

  • Technological projects development.
  • Processes and product development.
  • Technical – economical feasibility studies.
  • Implementation and transfer of analytical and quality control techniques.
  • Design, construction and start up of pilot scale equipment.
  • Retrieval and analysis of technical information.
  • Training and continuing education of technicians and professionals.

For more information, please contact:

Ing. María O. García (e-mail: mogarcia@plapiqui.edu.ar)

Ing. Daniel R. Ercoli (e-mail: dercoli@plapiqui.edu.ar)

Ing. Marta H. Lacunza (e-mail: mlacunza@plapiqui.edu.ar)

Datos de Contacto

Camino La Carrindanga Km 7
(8000) Bahía Blanca
TEL.: 54 - (0)291 - 4861700
FAX : 54 - (0)291 - 4861600
E-MAIL: plapiqui@plapiqui.edu.ar
WEB-MAIL: mail.plapiqui.edu.ar