AFES, Nuclear Agency partner up for plastic-to-fuel conversion 

The partnership marks an impactful way to cut plastic pollution and a transformative effort to deploy nuclear technology for environmental gain

by HIDAYATH HISHAM / pic credit: MEDIA MULIA

ALAM Flora Environmental Solutions (AFES) and the Malaysian Nuclear Agency signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday to collaborate on an innovative plastic-to-fuel conversion technology proof of concept.  

The agreement was exchanged between Nuclear Agency DG Dr Rosli Darmawan and AFES CEO and director Datuk Mohd Zain Hasan at Nuclear Agency’s Bangi headquarters.

Activities outlined include aggregating and processing plastic trash as well as utilising radiation-assisted pyrolysis (RAP). 

RAP uses heat to decompose plastics in a contained system, generating reusable byproducts. Combining it with radiation techniques can boost efficiency and cut costs.

The Nuclear Agency has already built a test rig and produced initial samples of pyrolysis oil with technical guidance from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Rosli said the partnership marks a transformative effort to deploy nuclear technology for environmental gain. 

He noted that converting plastic waste into pyrolysis oil aligns with wider goals to expand peaceful nuclear applications while supporting socio-economic growth, industry competitiveness and ecological preservation.

“This collaboration is seen as a good step in mainstreaming the peaceful use of nuclear technology in Malaysia which will at once have a positive impact on Malaysians towards a better quality of life,” he said at the signing ceremony.

Meanwhile, Mohd Zain framed the tie-up as an impactful way to cut plastic pollution through sustainable practices and technological advancement. 

He expressed hope that the cooperation can drive positive change by pooling specialised expertise.  

“The result of the collaboration between the two parties, using RAP technology, has succeeded in producing fuel from plastic with an efficiency of more than 80% through the pyrolysis process with a temperature reduced below 100°C from the normal process,” he said. 

He added that this process can potentially reduce the use of energy to process plastic at the molecular level.

“Therefore, I think that the MoU signed between AFES and the Nuclear Agency not only aims to significantly reduce plastic waste but will also be a pioneer in dealing with environmental care issues through nuclear technology that has never been explored,” he said.