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UNIMAS introduces biofuel made from palm waste

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) is to start producing biofuel extracted from palm 'sago' (stem pith) waste - the first of its kind - through its Sago Research Centre.

The research was started 10 years ago by a group comprising several Unimas students and lecturers, and experts from Japan.

Based on the research, the sago waste is commercialised to produce bio-fuel which is the basic ingredient for making furniture, agronomy and textile, said Unimas vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid.

“Unimas has conducted a study on overall sago usage at the pioneer plant which started last year. This project is the result of the RM11 million allocation given by Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and we expect to officially open the plant to the public as well as an exhibition next month,” said Khairuddin at the launching of a librarian seminar yesterday.

Meanwhile, Unimas is having talks with Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) to produce bio-diesel and organic fertiliser from oil palm wastes.

“We will use a factory owned by Salcra at Bau as our research centre by taking waste material from the oil palm plantation, and we will be the first to produce bio-diesel from oil palm wastes,” he said.

The project is expected to commence mid next year and costs are expected to reach RM7 million.

He added that both projects were Unimas’ efforts to create something beneficial to the society.

“Innovation is not just about creating something high-tech but also includes creating something beneficial to the society. Therefore, Unimas always thinks up ideas that can benefit the society overall.”

This is the first time that Unimas Centre for Academic Information Service (Cais) is holding the seminar which is now themed ‘Librarian Innovation Towards Graduate Excellence’.

According to its head librarian Margaret Simeng, the seminar was previously known as the Librarian Forum.

“Rapid knowledge and technological advancement requires librarians and information managers to prepare themselves with knowledge and skills in transforming towards innovation and creativity to strengthen the delivery system of a library or information centre,” she said.

During the two-day seminar, 11 working papers were presented by professionals from various institutions.

Resni Mona | Research asia research news
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Further reports about: Biofuel UNIMAS oil palm oil palm plantation palm waste sago waste

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