by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / pic credit: iwk.com.my
INDAH Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and collaborated with EMB Business Sdn Bhd to pioneer the production of ethanol and biogas generated from wastewater processing for commercial purposes.
Environment And Water Minister (KASA) Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said this new cyclical economic resource model in treated wastewater focuses on the concept of cycle and reuse, energy and nutrient recovery, and energy and gas recovery while the wastewater is used as a source of nutrients and carbon in the processing of products such as ethanol, acetone, butanol and bio-aggregator.
He further said according to IWK and EMB studies, every 15 litres of raw sewage can produce 15% butanol gas for use as cooking gas fuel, as well as a fuel source for mobile stoves and 1.5% ethanol for medical use and fuel for vehicles.
“IWK’s records reveal that approximately 2.97 billion c m of sewage waste are treated and released into the river per year, while the final destination for the resulting sludge is disposed of in a landfill.
“Thus, the collaboration between IWK and EMB Business will benefit downstream industries such as petrochemicals and as a secondary source for the production of their other products and it is an excellent proactive effort in supporting the national green economy transformation mission,” the minister said at the MoU signing ceremony today.
Tuan Ibrahim added that a total of RM6.75 billion was allocated by the government in the 11th and 12th Malaysia Plans for the sewerage sector which is an important component of implementing sewerage projects throughout the country in realising the Water Sector Transformation 2040.
“KASA has targeted important objectives in Malaysia’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2020-2030. This strategic plan includes environmental, social and governance elements and also integrates the Sustainable Development Goals.
“One of the important cores is to have a strategic collaboration with stakeholders to ensure that the environmental sustainability agenda is strengthened collectively and it is impossible that the sustainability agenda cannot be achieved by KASA’s efforts alone without the support of all parties,” he added.
Meanwhile, IWK CEO Narendran Maniam said IWK is always trying to take advantage of green technology and innovation processes to convert waste into a new cyclical economic resource.
At the same time, he said the party is making a cost analysis of the construction of the technology system on a large scale and at the same time is exploring opportunities with key buyers such as sanitiser operators and in the medical field.
“We expect to have a factory that is capable of producing the product that is fully sold to customers within three years because we need a buyer on behalf of a bank or financial institution in building a large-scale system,” he said.
At the same time, EMB Business MD Nur Idatun Nissa Mohamad Noor said both parties working in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi MARA, have produced an alcoholic liquid at room temperatures that are materialized directly from wastewater.
“This has changed existing chemical facts, especially now that the process of producing butane gas is no longer only through a petroleum refinery. It certainly opens the eyes of industry players to the production of renewable energy like this,” she said.