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Sarawak pursues green technology to tackle oil palm wastes

on 10 Ogos 2010.

KOTA SAMARAHAN -- Sarawak may soon come out with a state-of-the-art technology which can turn oil palm wastes into useful products.

Unimas, Pansar eQo Technology Sdn Bhd and Bellwether Agriculture Pte Ltd of Australia have come together to create this new technology.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the three parties at Unimas here yesterday, in the presence of Minister of Housing and Urban Development Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The signatories were Unimas vice chancellor Professor Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid, Bellwether Agriculture managing director Chris Davidson and the chief executive officer of Pansar eQo Technology Sdn Bhd Jason Tai.

Unimas vice chancellor Professor Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid said the new technology could later be further refined and modified to handle municipal solid wastes.

“The impacts of this technology to the Malaysian economy and environment are very significant.

“When this technology is in operation, it will clean up the palm oil wastes, and generate new products in the form of biomass, organic fertiliser and clean water.

“It will enhance our palm oil industries’ environmental reputation globally and opening up markets,” Khairuddin said in his speech prior to the signing of MoU.

He revealed that Unimas would be represented by the Centre for Water Research, under Professor Lau Seng.

“Working hand in hand with Bellwether in the treatment processes and with Pansar in the energy conversion and utilisation of biogas, I am confident that a state-of-art technology will emerge from this partnership,” added Prof Khairuddin.

Under the pilot project, Unimas researchers will develop a working system that works best for POME and FFB as Bellwether’s technology has not been tested here yet.

Under the MoU, a pilot plant costing some RM7 million will be built at Unimas campus to process about 3,000 litres of POME and FFB per day to be supplied by Salcra oil palm mills either from Bau or Serian.

The pilot plant will consist of an upflow Induced Blanket Reactor (IBR) that will perform the anaerobic digestion of the organic matters to produce methane gas.

The digested sludge will be further treated in a Penta-Cycle Treatment Plant (PCTP) to produce liquid fertilisers and clean waters which can be recycled to the mill.

The solid residues from the sludge will be fortified and converted into solid organic fertiliser and the methane gas will be converted into electricity.

Abang Johari said he was optimistic that the funding needed by Unimas would be provided by the government.

Meanwhile, Bellwether Agriculture managing director Chris Davidson is confident that Bellwether’s technology would be able to provide a solution to the current problems facing mill waste discharge in Sarawak.

“Bellwether’s technology focuses totally on recycling organic waste. Our solution to treating organic waste is but one measure that can achieve “world’s best practice”,” said Davidson.

He stressed that through the pro-active alliance of Bellwether, Pansar and Unimas, Bellwether’s technology aimed to demonstrate that it would be able to deliver zero discharge to the environment from oil palm oil mill processes.

“At the same time capture renewable and sustainable revenues from energy, fertiliser, recycled water and of course carbon credits,” he said.

He said the project with Unimas, and with the help of Pansar, would also aim to demonstrate that it could generate small amount of electricity from the pilot project.

“Through the adaptation of this technology, Malaysia will lead the way in palm oil mill waste recovery.

“Recycled water will go to the mill for reuse and there will be more discharging mill waste to streams and rivers,” he said, adding that the volume of methane gas could be used to generate “green” renewable energy.

Davidson said from their trials on cereal crops, an increase in yields could be expected in the second year of application of its biological substrate and a significant increase in yields could be expected in subsequent years.

Copyright © 2010 BorneoPost Online

Source: Borneo Post

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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Tarikh terakhir kemaskini: Khamis 28 Januari 2016.

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