Heterogeneous Catalyst – Preparation and application in Biodiesel Transesterification of Palm Oil Mill Effluent

peter-yekProject Title:  Heterogeneous Catalyst – Preparation and application in Biodiesel Transesterification of Palm Oil Mill Effluent

Research ID:  4/2015/02

Principal Researcher:  Peter Yek Nai Yuh

Co-Researchers: Assoc Prof Ir Dr. Mohd Shahril Osman, Tiong Tung Chuan

Project Start Date:  12/1/2015

Duration of Project:  24 months

Research Summary:  Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer in the world with an overall production capacity of 19.96 million tonnes of crude palm oil from its 4.86 million hectares of cultivation in 2015.  The growing palm oil industry in Malaysia produces a large amount of by-products from the extraction mills including palm oil mill effluents (POME).  According to the MPOB statistics, 97.57 million tonnes of FFB havd been processed by the mills in 2015, while 64.37 million tonnes of POME biomass waste is generated at the same time.  However, POME is potentially fully utilized as a renewable energy source.

Hence, the development of nanomaterials could be important as the enhanced catalyst is increasing the efficiency of petro-chemical process.  Synthesis of heterogeneous base nano-catalysts by submerged glow-discharge plasma method has been applied to develop and evaluate the reactions of POME transesterification process to fatty acid methyl ester.  Morphology, surface area, and the alkalinity of the aluminum metal oxides nanomaterials will be investigated.