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JCU concocts plan to refine tropical oils

A chemical process to create a non-toxic insect repellent from tropical plant oils is being developed by James Cook University in north Queensland and the University of New Caledonia in Noumea.

Researchers from JCU are working with botanical oils refineries in New Caledonia to introduce a solar heat treatment process that can transform the oils into effective, long-lasting mosquito repellents.

The JCU project is led by organic chemist Michael Oelgemöller and journalism academic Marie M’Balla-Ndi, who is also foreign correspondent for Noumea’s daily news organisation, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes.

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