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Monday, 16 April 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

From waste to wealth

PAGOH: Local researchers at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) are literally turning waste into wealth in a bid to promote a cleaner environment for the nation.

UTM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar said the discovery was made possible through a collaboration with the Malaysia-Japan Institute of Technology (MJIIT) to build Malaysia’s first subcritical water-waste management reactor system.

“It is the first of its kind in Malaysia and Asia.

“Unlike conventional incinerators that use fuel to burn solid waste which later needs to be disposed, the subcritical reactor system uses water at 200 Celcius and pressure to treat solid waste without any carbon emission or dioxins (persistant environment pollutants),” he said after launching the two pilot reactors at the Pagoh Eduhub here.

He said the treated, eco-friendly solid waste could be converted to animal feed and fertiliser.

Dr Wahid said the two reactors were able to process four tons of waste per cycle per hour and could be built to handle up to 20 tons of solid waste per cycle.

“The reactors will initially cater to solid waste from four institutions of higher learning and 10 cafeterias within the Pagoh Eduhub.

“The waste management will later be expanded to include projects under Sime Darby Property Selatan Sdn Bhd,” he added.

UTM Holdings chief execu-tive officer Ahmad Kamal Kushairi said plans were underway to commercialise the reactors and expand their use nationwide.

“We expect to do this within two years with the first reactor rolling off the production line within six months,” he added.

The Higher Education Ministry provided a RM25mil grant for the joint research and development project.

Also present at the event were project manager Dr Pramila Tamunaidu and MJIIT-UTM Assoc Prof Koji Iwamoto.