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A global research consortium

Project 3

Project 3: Second generation catalytic pyrolisis conversion of palm oil EFB biomass to jet fuel

Oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) are abundant in Malaysia with an annual production of more than 18 million tons. Traditional methods such as composting and incineration are not suitable to process these organic solid wastes as they contain nitrogen and considerable amount of solid grains and smoke that may pollute the environment. Second generation technologies to convert lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels are still in development, with first pilot and demonstration plants in operation today, though not in Malaysia.

Pyrolisis is one of the most promising technologies of biomass utilization which converts the biomass to bio-oil, char and gases depending on the pyrolysis conditions. Progress in the production of biofuels is limited by the lack of understanding of pyrolysis mechanisms. With selective tailoring and synthesis of nanocatalyst, it is hypothesized that production of biofuel and jetfuel from biomass could be achieved with higher efficiency and enhanced production yields. Fast pyrolysis at lower degradation temperatures (300–375 ºC), in the presence of functionalized nano catalysts is an efficient one step conversion of biomass to biofuels and jetfuels and conversion of phenols into higher oxygenated hydrocarbon derivatives.


Professor Datuk Dr. Halimaton Hamdan, FASc, FIKM, FMSA
UTM RAZAK School of Engineering and Advanced Technology,
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Kuala Lumpur,
Kuala Lumpur

Nanostructured materials and  catalysis




  • To synthesise and functionalize heterogeneous nanocatalyst for pyrolisis and second generation cracking
  • To design the catalytic biomass pyrolysis process
  • To conduct an in-situ process monitoring and reaction activity and kinetic study
  • To test and validate the efficiency and quality of the resulting biofuels and jet fuels

Expected Output

  • In the presence of catalyst, the percentage yield of phenol is lower than hydrocarbon compounds.
  • Highly efficient (>60%)  generation of  biofuel by catalytic pyrolisis
  • Novel nanocatalyst
  • Biofuel and jetfuels from biomass is carbon neutral with no increase in the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere and low sulphur content

NanoMITe Pyrolyser System


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jafariah Jaafar
Zeolite and Nanomaterials Laboratory,
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
Skudai, Johor
  Prof. Dr. Sugeng Triwahyono
Institut Ibnu Sina for Fundamental Science Studies,
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
Skudai, Johor
  Dr. Azmi Mohamed
Faculty of Science and Mathematics,
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris,
Tanjung Malim 
Dr Rozzeta Dolah
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Razak School of Engineering & Advanced Technology (Razak School) 
  Dr. Ng Eng Poh
School of Chemical Sciences,
Universiti Sains Malaysia,

Our Industry Collaborator

Sime Darby Research Sdn Bhd
R&D Centre,
  Mohd Nazlan Mohd Muhid
Gelanggang Kencana Sdn Bhd
Kuala Lumpur

Sulaiman Bakhtiar Rashidi
Khair Azim Rashidi
Hirashi Sdn Bhd
Taman Bukit Maluri, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur


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