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Alternative Fuel Originates From Rubber Seeds

I stumbled upon a very interesting finding/research carried out by a Malaysian researcher/lecturer. The article beneath is adopted from THE STAR ONLINE NEWSPAPER (entitled FUEL FROM RUBBER SEEDS by . You can also read the abstract of this research which was presented at Chemeca2007.

TRONOH: Chemical engineering lecturer Mohammad Tazli Azizan grew up playing with rubber seeds at his family home in Perlis.

So it was second nature for the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) lecturer to see just what the rubber seed could do. Now, he has found that he can produce biodiesel from the seed.

“I used to help my father (Azizan Saleh) on his rubber smallholding during my childhood,” said the 26-year-old lecturer in an interview here yesterday.

So it was very exciting for me when I finally came out with the in-situ transesterification process to produce biodiesel from rubber seeds,” he added.

In-situ transesterification, he said, was a process that combined the extraction and production of biodiesel from the seeds, thus cutting short the process and lowering production cost.

His research findings won him the gold medal at the prestigious Innova Eureka Exhibition held in Brussels in November.

Mohammad Tazli said he resorted to using rubber seeds because the oil in those seeds was suitable for use in cold countries, unlike palm oil.

“The oil is not viscous and can be used in cold climates without much modification,” he said, adding that there was between 30% and 40% of oil in rubber seeds.

He pointed out that rubber seeds were not edible but could be found in abundance in the country, adding that there were 1.2 million ha of rubber plantation in Malaysia.

He added that using oil derived from rubber seeds instead of oil palms could easily avert the debate of a conflict between food and fuel.

Mohammad Tazli said 1kg of rubber seeds could produce between 300ml and 400ml of biodiesel fuel.

He estimates that in an area of 1ha of rubber trees, there are between 800kg and 1,200kg of rubber seeds.

However, he said the problem was collecting the rubber seeds and he was now searching for a design, possibly nets, to collect them.

He added that he was keen on ways to increase rubber seed production without compromising on the quality of latex produced by the trees.

Mohammad Tazli said his next step was to set up a pilot plant for commercial production.

“We need between RM3mil and RM4mil for the plant which we believe can produce between 10,000 and 15,000 tonnes of biodiesel a year,” he added.

He said some businessmen from Belgium had shown interest in his research findings.

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posted by zaki yamani @ 8:33 PM,

3 Comments:

At Monday, January 07, 2008, Blogger naza sundae said...

i'm so glad for Mr Tazli. Bring name for UTP.
he is my lecturer, a very strict and BUSY lecturer i can say...
Wonder when he get the time for his research, hhhmmmmm....

 
At Monday, January 07, 2008, Blogger zaki said...

when a person has passion in what he likes to do, he'll find time to do it no matter what...

 
At Monday, January 21, 2008, Anonymous naza sundae said...

yes, that is true.

 

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The Author

zyz

I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!


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