Publications by authors named "Suzana Yusup"

37 Publications

Life-cycle assessment of hydrogen production via catalytic gasification of wheat straw in the presence of straw derived biochar catalyst.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Aug 21;341:125796. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

HICoE - Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Self-Sustainable Building, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Perak 32610, Malaysia.

The environmental footprints of Hproductionviacatalytic gasification of wheat straw using straw-derived biochar catalysts were examined. The functional unit of 1 kg of Hwas adopted in the system boundaries, which includes 5 processes namely biomass collection and pre-treatment units (P1), biochar catalyst preparation using fast pyrolysis unit (P2), two-stage pyrolysis-gasification unit (P3), products separation unit (P4), and Hdistribution to downstream plants (P5). Based on the life-cycle assessment, the hot spots in this process were identified, the sequence was as follows: P4 > P2 > P1 > P3 > P5. The end-point impacts score for the process was found to be 93.4017 mPt. From benchmarking analysis, the proposed straw-derived biochar catalyst was capable of offering almost similar catalytic performance with other metal-based catalysts with a lower environmental impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.125796DOI Listing
August 2021

Production and characterization of bamboo-based activated carbon through single-step HPO activation for CO capture.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jun 29. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Chemical Engineering Department, National Higher Institution Centre of Excellence - Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Self-Sustainable Building, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610, Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant and is abundant in Malaysia. It is employed as a starting material for activated carbon production and evaluated for its potential in CO capture. A single-stage phosphoric acid (HPO) activation is adopted by varying the concentrations of HPO between 50 and 70 wt.% at a constant temperature and holding time of 500°C and 120 min, respectively. The bamboo-based activated carbons are characterized in terms of product yield, surface area, and porosity, as well as surface chemistry properties. Referring to the experimental findings, the prepared activated carbons have BET surface area of >1000 m g, which implies the effectiveness of the single-stage HPO activation. Furthermore, the prepared activated carbon via 50 wt.% HPO activation shows the highest BET surface area and carbon dioxide (CO) adsorption capacity of 1.45 mmol g at 25°C/1 bar and 9.0 mmol g at 25°C/30 bar. With respect to both the characterization analysis and CO adsorption performance, it is concluded that bamboo waste conversion to activated carbon through HPO activation method is indeed promising.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15030-xDOI Listing
June 2021

Ionic liquid-biosurfactant blends as effective dispersants for oil spills: Effect of carbon chain length and degree of saturation.

Environ Pollut 2021 Sep 22;284:117119. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 32610, Perak, Malaysia; Centre of Research in Ionic Liquids (CORIL), Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 32610, Perak, Malaysia. Electronic address:

The well-known toxicity of conventional chemical oil spill dispersants demands the development of alternative and environmentally friendly dispersant formulations. Therefore, in the present study we have developed a pair of less toxic and green dispersants by combining lactonic sophorolipid (LS) biosurfactant individually with choline myristate and choline oleate ionic liquid surfactants. The aggregation behavior of resulted surfactant blends and their dispersion effectiveness was investigated using the baffled flask test. The introduction of long hydrophobic alkyl chain with unsaturation (attached to choline cation) provided synergistic interactions between the binary surfactant mixtures. The maximum dispersion effectiveness was found to be 78.23% for 80:20 (w/w) lactonic sophorolipid-choline myristate blends, and 81.15% for 70:30 (w/w) lactonic sophorolipid-choline oleate blends at the dispersant-to-oil ratio of 1:25 (v/v). The high dispersion effectiveness of lactonic sophorolipid-choline oleate between two developed blends is attributed to the stronger synergistic interactions between surfactants and slower desorption rate of blend from oil-water interface. The distribution of dispersed oil droplets at several DOR were evaluated and it was observed that oil droplets become smaller with increasing DOR. In addition, the acute toxicity analysis of developed formulations against zebra fish (Danio rerio) confirmed their non-toxic behavior with LC values higher than 400 ppm after 96 h. Overall, the proposed new blends/formulations could effectively substitute the toxic and unsafe chemical dispersants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117119DOI Listing
September 2021

Particle swarm optimization and global sensitivity analysis for catalytic co-pyrolysis of Chlorella vulgaris and plastic waste mixtures.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Jun 23;329:124874. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Kingston upon Hull HU6 7RX, United Kingdom; B3 Challenge Group, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull HU6 7RX, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

This study investigated on the co-pyrolysis of microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) waste mixtures which was performed with three types of catalysts, namely limestone (LS), HZSM-5 zeolite, and novel bi-functional LS/HZSM-5/LS. Kissinger-Kai (K-K) model-free method was coupled with Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) model-fitting method using the thermogravimetric experimental data. A global sensitivity analysis was carried out using Latin Hypercube Sampling and rank transformation to assess the extent of impact of the input kinetic parameters on the output results. Furthermore, a thermodynamic analysis was performed to obtain parameters such as enthalpy change (ΔH), Gibb's free energy (ΔG), and entropy change (ΔS). The activation energy (E) of the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and HDPE binary mixture were found to be lower upon the addition of catalysts. Among the catalyst used, bi-functional LS/HZSM-5 catalyst exhibited the lowest E (83.59 kJ/mol) and ΔH (78 kJ/mol) as compared to LS and HZSM-5 catalysts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.124874DOI Listing
June 2021

Holistic process evaluation of non-conventional palm oil mill effluent (POME) treatment technologies: A conceptual and comparative review.

J Hazard Mater 2021 05 25;409:124964. Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing of High-Performance Materials, Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China.

Thriving oil palm agroindustry comes at a price of voluminous waste generation, with palm oil mill effluent (POME) as the most cumbersome waste due to its liquid state, high strength, and great discharge volume. In view of incompetent conventional ponding treatment, a voluminous number of publications on non-conventional POME treatments is filed in the Scopus database, mainly working on alternative or polishing POME treatments. In dearth of such comprehensive review, all the non-conventional POME treatments are rigorously reviewed in a conceptual and comparative manner. Herein, non-conventional POME treatments are sorted into the five major routes, viz. biological (bioconversions - aerobic/anaerobic biodegradation), physical (flotation & membrane filtration), chemical (Fenton oxidation), physicochemical (photooxidation, steam reforming, coagulation-flocculation, adsorption, & ultrasonication), and bioelectrochemical (microbial fuel cell) pathways. For aforementioned treatments, the constraints, pros, and cons are qualitatively and quantitatively (with compiled performance data) detailed to indicate their process maturity. Authors recommended (i) bioconversions, adsorption, and steam reforming as primary treatments, (ii) flotation and ultrasonication as pretreatments, (iii) Fenton oxidation, photooxidation, and membrane filtration as polishing treatments, and (iv) microbial fuel cell and coagulation-flocculation as pretreatment or polishing treatment. Life cycle assessments are required to evaluate the environmental, economic, and energy aspects of each process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124964DOI Listing
May 2021

Co-valorization of delayed petroleum coke - palm kernel shell for activated carbon production.

J Hazard Mater 2021 02 8;403:123876. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Chemical Engineering Department, National Higher Institution Centre of Excellence - Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Self-Sustainable Building, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610, Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia. Electronic address:

In this study, a binary mixture of petroleum coke and palm kernel shell had been investigated as potential starting materials for activated carbon production. Single-stage potassium carbonate (KCO) activation under nitrogen (N) atmosphere was adopted in this research study. Effect of several operating parameters that included the impregnation ratio (1-3 wt./wt.), activation temperature (600-800 °C), and dwell time (1-2 hrs) were analyzed by using the Box-Behnken experimental design. Influence of these parameters towards activated carbon yield (Y) and carbon dioxide (CO) adsorption capacity at an atmospheric condition (Y) were investigated. The optimum conditions for the activated carbon production were attained at impregnation ratio of 1.75:1, activation temperature of 680 °C, and dwell time of 1 h, with its corresponding Y and Y is 56.2 wt.% and 2.3991 mmol/g, respectively. Physicochemical properties of the pristine materials and synthesized activated carbon at the optimum conditions were analyzed in terms of their decomposition behavior, surface morphology, elemental composition, and textural characteristics. The study revealed that the blend of petroleum coke and palm kernel shell can be effectively used as the activated carbon precursors, and the experimental findings demonstrated comparable CO adsorption performance with commercial activated carbon as well as that in literatures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123876DOI Listing
February 2021

Biogasoline production from linoleic acid via catalytic cracking over nickel and copper-doped ZSM-5 catalysts.

Environ Res 2020 07 30;186:109616. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Biomass Processing Lab, Center of Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Self-Sustainable Building, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610, Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

Catalytic cracking of vegetable oil mainly processed over zeolites, and among all the zeolites particularly HZMS-5 has been investigated on wide range for renewable and clean gasoline production from various plant oils. Despite the fact that HZSM-5 offers a higher conversion degree and boost aromatics yield, the isomerate yield reduces due to high cracking activity and shape selectivity of HZSM-5. Hence, to overcome these problems, in this study the transition metals, such as nickel and copper doped over HZSM-5 were tested for its efficiencies to improve the isoparaffin compounds. The catalysts were screened with linoleic acid in a catalytic cracking reaction conducted at 450 C for 90 min in an atmospheric condition in batch reactor. Then, the gasoline composition of the organic liquid product (OLP) was analysed in terms of paraffin, isoparaffin, olefin, naphthenes and aromatics (PIONA). The results showed that Cu/ZSM-5 produced the highest liquid yield of 79.1%, at the same time reduced the production of gas and coke to 18.8% and 0.7%. Furthermore, the desired isoparaffin composition in biogasoline increased from 1.6% to 6.8% and at the same time reduced the oxygenated and aromatic compounds to 15.4% and 59.7%, respectively. The linoleic acid as model compound of rubber seed oil, in the catalytic cracking reaction provides a clearer understanding of the process. Besides, the water gas shift (WGS) reaction in catalytic cracking reaction provides insitu hydrogen production to saturate the branched olefin into the desired isoparaffin and the aromatics into naphthenes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109616DOI Listing
July 2020

Evaluation of kinetics and mechanism properties of CO adsorption onto the palm kernel shell activated carbon.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jul 25;28(26):33967-33979. Epub 2020 Apr 25.

Higher Institution of Centre of Excellence (HICoE) Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Self-Sustainable Building, Department of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610, Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

The volumetric adsorption kinetics of carbon dioxide (CO) onto the synthesized palm kernel shell activated carbon via single-stage CO activation and commercial Norit® activated carbon were carried out at an initial pressure of approximately 1 bar at three different temperatures of 25, 50, and 100 °C. The experimental kinetics data were modelled by using the Lagergren's pseudo-first-order model and pseudo-second-order model. Comparing these two, the non-linear pseudo-second-order kinetics model presented a better fit towards CO adsorption for both adsorbents, owing to its closer coefficient of determination (R) to unity, irrespective of the adsorption temperature. In addition, kinetics analysis showed that the corresponding kinetics coefficient (rate of adsorption) of both activated carbons increased with respect to adsorption temperature, and thereby, it indicated higher mobility of CO adsorbates at an elevated temperature. Nevertheless, CO adsorption capacity of both activated carbons reduced at elevated temperatures, which signified exothermic and physical adsorption (physisorption) behaviour. Besides, process exothermicity of both carbonaceous adsorbents can be corroborated through activation energy (E) value, which was deduced from the Arrhenius plot. E values that were in range of 32-38 kJ/mol validated exothermic adsorption at low pressure and temperature range of 25-100 °C. To gain an insight into the CO adsorption process, experimental data were fitted to intra-particle diffusion model and Boyd's diffusion model, and findings revealed an involvement of both film diffusion and intra-particle diffusion during CO adsorption process onto the synthesized activated carbon and commercial activated carbon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-08823-zDOI Listing
July 2021

Biochar as potential precursors for activated carbon production: parametric analysis and multi-response optimization.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Aug 6;27(22):27480-27490. Epub 2020 Jan 6.

Biomass Processing Laboratory, Higher Institutions Centre of Excellence: Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Self-Sustainable Building, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610, Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

Accelerating greenhouse gas emission particularly carbon dioxide (CO) in the atmosphere has become a major concern. Adsorption process has been proposed as a promising technology for CO adsorption from flue gas, and the carbonaceous adsorbent is a potential candidate for CO adsorption at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature. Biochar derived from palm kernel shell waste was applied as a potential precursor for activated carbon production. This research study employed the response surface methodology coupled with Box-Behnken design to optimize the parameters involved in producing exceptional activated carbon with high yield (Y) and CO adsorptive characteristics (Y). Specifically, parameters studied include the activation temperature (750-950 °C), holding time (60-120 min), and CO flow rate (150-450 mL/min). The activated carbon at the optimum conditions was characterized using various analytical instruments, including elemental analyzer, nitrogen (N) physisorption analyzer, and field emission scanning electron microscopy. Overall, utilization of biochar as the activated carbon precursor is practical compared with the traditional non-renewable materials, due to its cost efficiencies and it being more environment-friendly ensuring process sustainability. Besides, this research study that incorporates physical activation with CO as the activating agent is attractive, because it directly promotes CO utilization and capture, in addition to the absence of any chemicals that may result in the secondary pollution problems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-07448-1DOI Listing
August 2020

Uncertainty estimation approach in catalytic fast pyrolysis of rice husk: Thermal degradation, kinetic and thermodynamic parameters study.

Bioresour Technol 2019 Dec 31;294:122089. Epub 2019 Aug 31.

National HiCoE Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass, Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Sustainable Building, Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Perak 32610, Malaysia.

The aim of this study was to understand the influence of catalyst in thermal degradation behavior of rice husk (RH) in catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) process. An iso-conversional Kissinger kinetic model was introduced into this study to understand the activation energy (E), pre-exponential value (A), Enthalpy (ΔH), Entropy (ΔS) and Gibb's energy (ΔG) of non-catalytic fast pyrolysis (NCFP) and CFP of RH. The study revealed that the addition of natural zeolite catalyst enhanced the rate of devolatilization and decomposition of RH associated with lowest E value (153.10 kJ/mol) compared to other NCFP and CFP using nickel catalyst. Lastly, an uncertainty estimation was applied on the best fit non-linear regression model (MNLR) to identify the explanatory variables. The finding showed that it had the highest probability to obtain 73.8-74.0% mass loss in CFP of rice husk using natural zeolite catalyst.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2019.122089DOI Listing
December 2019

Recovery of cellulose fibers from oil palm empty fruit bunch for pulp and paper using green delignification approach.

Bioresour Technol 2019 Oct 12;290:121797. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

Biomass Processing Cluster, HICOE-Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Self-Sustainable Building, Department of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Perak 32610, Malaysia.

The aim of this work was to recover the cellulose fibers from EFB using low-transition-temperature-mixtures (LTTMs) as a green delignification approach. The hydrogen bonding of LTTMs observed in H NMR tends to disrupt the three-dimensional structure of lignin and further remove the lignin from EFB. Delignification process of EFB strands and EFB powder were performed using standard l-malic acid and cactus malic acid-LTTMs. The recovered cactus malic acid-LTTMs showed higher glucose concentration of 8.07 mg/mL than the recovered l-malic acid LTTMs (4.15 mg/mL). This implies that cactus malic acid-LTTMs had higher delignification efficiency which led to higher amount of cellulose hydrolyzed into glucose. The cactus malic acid-LTTMs-delignified EFB was the most feasible fibers for making paper due to its lowest kappa number of 69.84. The LTTMs-delignified EFB has great potential to be used for making specialty papers in pulp and paper industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2019.121797DOI Listing
October 2019

Catalytic pyrolysis of Chlorella vulgaris: Kinetic and thermodynamic analysis.

Bioresour Technol 2019 Oct 22;289:121689. Epub 2019 Jun 22.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Curtin University Malaysia, CDT 250, 98009 Miri Sarawak, Malaysia. Electronic address:

In the present study, catalytic pyrolysis of Chlorella vulgaris biomass was conducted to analyse the kinetic and thermodynamic performances through thermogravimetric approach. HZSM-5 zeolite, limestone (LS), bifunctional HZSM-5/LS were used as catalysts and the experiments were heated from 50 to 900 °C at heating rates of 10-100 °C/min. Iso-conversional model-free methods such as Flynn-Wall-Ozawa (FWO), Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose (KAS), Starink's, and Vyazovkin (V) were employed to evaluate the kinetic parameters meanwhile the thermodynamic parameters were determined by using FWO and KAS methods. The calculated E values of non-catalytic and catalytic pyrolysis of HZSM-5 zeolite, LS, and bifunctional HZSM-5/LS were determined to be in the range of 156.16-158.10 kJ/mol, 145.26-147.84 kJ/mol, 138.81-142.06 kJ/mol, and 133.26 kJ/mol respectively. The results have shown that catalytic pyrolysis with the presence of bifunctional HZSM-5/LS resulted to a lower average E and ΔH compared to HZSM-5, and LS which indicated less energy requirement in the process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2019.121689DOI Listing
October 2019

Life cycle evaluation of microalgae biofuels production: Effect of cultivation system on energy, carbon emission and cost balance analysis.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Oct 14;688:112-128. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

School of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

The rapid depletion of fossil fuels and ever-increasing environmental pollution have forced humankind to look for a renewable energy source. Microalgae, a renewable biomass source, has been proposed as a promising feedstock to generate biofuels due to their fast growth rate with high lipid content. However, literatures have indicated that sustainable production of microalgae biofuels are only viable with a highly optimized production system. In the present study, a cradle-to-gate approach was used to provide expedient insights on the effect of different cultivation systems and biomass productivity toward life cycle energy (LCEA), carbon balance (LCCO) and economic (LCC) of microalgae biodiesel production pathways. In addition, a co-production of bioethanol from microalgae residue was proposed in order to improve the economic sustainability of the overall system. The results attained in the present work indicated that traditional microalgae biofuels processing pathways resulted to several shortcomings, such as dehydration and lipid extraction of microalgae biomass required high energy input and contributed nearly 21 to 30% and 39 to 57% of the total energy requirement, respectively. Besides, the microalgae biofuels production system also required a high capital investment, which accounted for 47 to 86% of total production costs that subsequently resulted to poor techno-economic performances. Moreover, current analysis of environmental aspects of microalgae biorefinery had revealed negative CO balance in producing microalgae biofuels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.181DOI Listing
October 2019

An overview of biomass thermochemical conversion technologies in Malaysia.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Aug 18;680:105-123. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Nottingham, Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia.

The rising pressure on both cleaner production and sustainable development have been the main driving force that pushes mankind to seek for alternative greener and sustainable feedstocks for chemical and energy production. The biomass 'waste-to-wealth' concept which convert low value biomass into value-added products which contain high economic potential, have attracted the attentions from both academicians and industry players. With a tropical climate, Malaysia has a rich agricultural sector and dense tropical rainforest, giving rise to abundance of biomass which most of them are underutilized. Hence, the biomass 'waste-to-wealth' conversion through various thermochemical conversion technologies and the prospective challenges towards commercialization in Malaysia are reviewed in this paper. In this paper, a critical review about the maturity status of the four most promising thermochemical conversion routes in Malaysia (i.e. gasification, pyrolysis, liquefaction and hydroprocessing) is given. The current development of thermochemical conversion technologies for biomass conversion in Malaysia is also reviewed and benchmarked against global progress. Besides, the core technical challenges in commercializing these green technologies are highlighted as well. Lastly, the future outlook for successful commercialization of these technologies in Malaysia is included.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.211DOI Listing
August 2019

Catalytic hydrodeoxygenation of rubber seed oil over sonochemically synthesized Ni-Mo/γ-AlO catalyst for green diesel production.

Ultrason Sonochem 2019 Mar 10;51:90-102. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Department of Fundamental and Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

Hydrodeoxygenation is one of the promising technologies for the transformation of triglycerides into long-chain hydrocarbon fuel commonly known as green diesel. The hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of rubber seed oil into diesel range (C-C) hydrocarbon over non-sulphided bimetallic (Ni-Mo/γ-AlO solid catalysts were studied. The catalysts were synthesized via wet impregnation method as well as sonochemical method. The synthesized catalysts were subjected to characterization methods including FESEM coupled with EDX, XRD, BET, TEM, XPS, NH-TPD, CO-chemisorption and H-TPR in order to investigate the effects of ultrasound irradiations on physicochemical properties of the catalyst. All the catalysts were tested for HDO reaction at 350 °C, 35 bar, H/oil 1000 N (cm/cm) and WHSV = 1 h in fixed bed tubular reactor. The catalyst prepared via sonochemical method showed comparatively higher specific surface area, particles in nano-size and uniform distribution of particle on the external surface of the support, higher crystallinity and lower reduction temperature as well as higher concentration of Mo deoxygenating metal species. These physicochemical properties improved the catalytic activity compared to conventionally synthesized catalyst for HDO of rubber seed oil. The catalytic performance of sonochemically synthesized Ni-Mo/γ-AlO catalyst (80.87%) was higher than the catalyst prepared via wet impregnation method (63.3%). The sonochemically synthesized Ni-Mo/γ-AlO catalyst is found to be active, produces 80.87 wt% of diesel range hydrocarbons, and it gives high selectivity for Pentadecane (18.7 wt%), Hexadecane (16.65 wt%), Heptadecane (24.45 wt%) and Octadecane (21.0 wt%). The product distribution revealed that the deoxygenation reaction pathway was preferred. Higher conversion and higher HDO yield in this study are associated mainly with the change in concentration ratio between oxidation states of molybdenum (Mo, Mo, and Mo) on the external surface of the catalyst due to ultrasound irradiation during the synthesis process. Consequently, the application of sonochemically synthesized non-sulphided catalysts favored mainly hydrodeoxygenation of diesel range hydrocarbon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultsonch.2018.10.011DOI Listing
March 2019

Production of gasoline range hydrocarbons from catalytic cracking of linoleic acid over various acidic zeolite catalysts.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Nov 19;26(33):34039-34046. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Biomass Processing Laboratory, Center for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute for Self-Sustainable Building, Department of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Perak, 32610, Malaysia.

Employment of edible oils as alternative green fuel for vehicles had raised debates on the sustainability of food supply especially in the third-world countries. The non-edible oil obtained from the abundantly available rubber seeds could mitigate this issue and at the same time reduce the environmental impact. Therefore, this paper investigates the catalytic cracking reaction of a model compound named linoleic acid that is enormously present in the rubber seed oil. Batch-scale experiments were conducted using 8.8 mL Inconel batch reactor having a cyclic horizontal swing span of 2 cm with a frequency of 60 cycles per minute at 450 °C under atmospheric condition for 90 min. The performance of HZSM-5, HBeta, HFerrierite, HMordenite and HY catalysts was tested for their efficiency in favouring gasoline range hydrocarbons. The compounds present in the organic liquid product were then analysed using GC-MS and classified based on PIONA which stands for paraffin, isoparaffin, olefin, naphthenes and aromatics respectively. The results obtained show that HZSM-5 catalyst favoured gasoline range hydrocarbons that were rich in aromatics compounds and promoted the production of desired isoparaffin. It also gave a higher cracking activity; however, large gaseous as by-products were produced at the same time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-3223-4DOI Listing
November 2019

Mitigation of NOx emission using aromatic and phenolic antioxidant-treated biodiesel blends in a multi-cylinder diesel engine.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2018 Oct 7;25(28):28500-28516. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Center of Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Biomass Processing Laboratory, Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, 32610, Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

The present work analyzes the effect of antioxidants on engine combustion performance of a multi-cylinder diesel engine fueled with PB30 and PB50 (30 and 50 vol.% palm biodiesel (PB)). Four antioxidants namely N,N'-diphenyl-1,4-phenylenediamine (DPPD), N-phenyl-1,4-phenylenediamine (NPPD), 2(3)-tert-Butyl-4-methoxyphenol (BHA), and 2-tert-butylbenzene-1,4-diol (TBHQ) were added at concentrations of 1000 and 2000 ppm to PB30 and PB50. TBHQ showed the highest activity in increasing oxidation stability in both PB30 and PB50 followed by BHA, DPPD, and NPPD respectively, without any negative effect on physical properties. Compared to diesel fuel, PB blends showed 4.61-6.45% lower brake power (BP), 5.90-8.69% higher brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC), 9.64-11.43% higher maximum in cylinder pressure, and 7.76-12.51% higher NO emissions. Carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon (HC), and smoke opacity were reduced by 36.78-43.56%, 44.12-58.21%, and 42.59-63.94%, respectively, than diesel fuel. The start of combustion angles (SOC) of PB blends was - 13.2 to - 15.6 °CA BTDC, but the combustion delays were 5.4-7.8 °CA short compared to diesel fuel which were - 10 °CA BTDC and 11°CA respectively. Antioxidant fuels of PB showed higher BP (1.81-5.32%), CO (8.41-24.60%), and HC (13.51-37.35%) with lower BSFC (1.67-7.68%), NO (4.32-11.53%), maximum in cylinder pressure (2.33-4.91%) and peak heat release rates (HRR) (3.25-11.41%) than baseline fuel of PB. Similar SOC of - 13 to - 14 °CA BTDC was observed for PB blended fuels and antioxidants. It can be concluded that antioxidants' addition is effective in increasing the oxidation stability and in controlling the NOx emissions of palm biodiesel fuelled diesel engine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2863-8DOI Listing
October 2018

Utilization of rice husk to enhance calcium oxide-based sorbent prepared from waste cockle shells for cyclic CO capture in high-temperature condition.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Nov 28;26(33):33882-33896. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Department of Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto, 860-855, Japan.

The CO capture capacity and cyclic stability of calcium oxide (CaO) prepared from cockle shells (CS) were enhanced by incorporating rice husk (RH) and binder through wet-mixing method. The cyclic reaction of calcination and carbonation was demonstrated using thermal gravimetric analyzer (TGA) which the calcination was performed in a pure N environment at 850 °C for 20 min and carbonation at 650 °C for 30 min in 20 vol% of CO in N. The analysis using x-ray fluorescence (XRF) identified silica (Si) as the major elements in the sorbents. The RH-added sorbents also contained several types of metal elements such as which was a key factor to minimize the sintering of the sorbent during the cyclic reaction and contributed to higher CO capture capacity. The presence of various morphologies also associated with the improvement of the synthesized sorbents performance. The highest initial CO capture capacity was exhibited by CS+10%RH sorbent, which was 12% higher than the RH-free sorbent (CS). However, sorbents with the higher RH loading amount such as 40 and 50 wt% were preferred to maintain high capture capacity when the sorbents were regenerated and extended to the cyclic reaction. The sorbents also demonstrated the lowest average sorption decay, which suggested the most stable sorbent for cyclic-reaction. Once regenerated, the capture capacity of the RH-added sorbent was further increased by 12% when clay was added into the sorbent. Overall, the metal elements in RH and clay were possibly the key factor that enhances the performance of CaO prepared from CS, particularly for cyclic CO capture. Graphical abstract Cyclic calcination and carbonation reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2549-2DOI Listing
November 2019

Kinetics and thermodynamic analysis in one-pot pyrolysis of rice hull using renewable calcium oxide based catalysts.

Bioresour Technol 2018 Oct 6;265:180-190. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

College of Forest Products and Paper Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna 4031, Philippines.

Thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of catalytic pyrolysis of rice hull (RH) pyrolysis using two different types of renewable catalysts namely natural limestone (LS) and eggshells (ES) using thermogravimetric analysis (TG) approach at different heating rates of 10-100 K min in temperature range of 323-1173 K are investigated. Catalytic pyrolysis mechanism of both catalysts had shown significant effect on the degradation of RH. Model free kinetic of iso-conversional method (Flynn-Wall-Ozawa) and multi-step reaction model (Distributed Activation Energy Model) were employed into present study. The average activation energy was found in the range of 175.4-177.7 kJ mol (RH), 123.3-132.5 kJ mol (RH-LS), and 96.1-100.4 kJ mol (RH-ES) respectively. The syngas composition had increased from 60.05 wt% to 63.1 wt% (RH-LS) and 63.4 wt% (RH-ES). However, the CO content had decreased from 24.1 wt% (RH) to 20.8 wt% (RH-LS) and 19.9 wt% (RH-ES).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.06.003DOI Listing
October 2018

Production of palm kernel shell-based activated carbon by direct physical activation for carbon dioxide adsorption.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Nov 9;26(33):33732-33746. Epub 2018 May 9.

Biomass Processing Laboratory, Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Sustainable Living, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610, Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

The feasibility of biomass-based activated carbons has received a huge attention due to their excellent characteristics such as inexpensiveness, good adsorption behaviour and potential to reduce a strong dependency towards non-renewable precursors. Therefore, in this research work, eco-friendly activated carbon from palm kernel shell that has been produced from one-stage physical activation by using the Box-Behnken design of Response Surface Methodology is highlighted. The effect of three input parameters-temperature, dwell time and gas flow rate-towards product yield and carbon dioxide (CO) uptake at room temperature and atmospheric pressure are studied. Model accuracy has been evaluated through the ANOVA analysis and lack-of-fit test. Accordingly, the optimum condition in synthesising the activated carbon with adequate CO adsorption capacity of 2.13 mmol/g and product yield of 25.15 wt% is found at a temperature of 850 °C, holding time of 60 min and CO flow rate of 450 cm/min. The synthesised activated carbon has been characterised by diverse analytical instruments including thermogravimetric analyser, scanning electron microscope, as well as N adsorption-desorption isotherm. The characterisation analysis indicates that the synthesised activated carbon has higher textural characteristics and porosity, together with better thermal stability and carbon content as compared to pristine palm kernel shell. Activated carbon production via one-step activation approach is economical since its carbon yield is within the industrial target, whereas CO uptake is comparable to the synthesised activated carbon from conventional dual-stage activation, commercial activated carbon and other published data from literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-1903-8DOI Listing
November 2019

Sustainable green pretreatment approach to biomass-to-energy conversion using natural hydro-low-transition-temperature mixtures.

Bioresour Technol 2018 Aug 12;261:361-369. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Department of Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan.

Natural hydro-low-transition-temperature mixtures (NH-LTTMs) tend to be the most favorable next-generation green solvents for biomass pretreatment, as they are cheap and environmental friendly. The amount of water bound into the NH-LTTMs greatly affected their thermal stability, whereby the highest thermal stability was observed with the water content of 7.6 wt%. It is worth noting that, the highest molar transition energy of NH-LTTMs (47.57 kcal mol), which indicated the highest solubility, was optimized with the molar ratio of hydrogen bond donor (HBD)-hydrogen bond acceptor (HBA)-water (2:4:3) at a temperature of 60 °C. Hydrogen bonding networks of the NH-LTTMs, which led to the dissolution of biomass, were confirmed by the alteration in the peaks of the involved bonds and resonance signal to lower field through FTIR and H NMR spectra, respectively. The components evidenced in high-resolution mass spectra of extracted lignin showed its high potential to be valorized into useful fuels and chemicals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.04.039DOI Listing
August 2018

Thermogravimetric kinetic modelling of in-situ catalytic pyrolytic conversion of rice husk to bioenergy using rice hull ash catalyst.

Bioresour Technol 2018 Aug 7;261:213-222. Epub 2018 Apr 7.

Resilience Development Initiative, Jl. Imperial Imperial 2, No. 52, Bandung 40135, Indonesia.

The thermal degradation behaviour and kinetic parameter of non-catalytic and catalytic pyrolysis of rice husk (RH) using rice hull ash (RHA) as catalyst were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis at four different heating rates of 10, 20, 50 and 100 K/min. Four different iso conversional kinetic models such as Kissinger, Friedman, Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose (KAS) and Ozawa-Flynn-Wall (OFW) were applied in this study to calculate the activation energy (E) and pre-exponential value (A) of the system. The E of non-catalytic and catalytic pyrolysis was found to be in the range of 152-190 kJ/mol and 146-153 kJ/mol, respectively. The results showed that the catalytic pyrolysis of RH had resulted in a lower E as compared to non-catalytic pyrolysis of RH and other biomass in literature. Furthermore, the high Gibb's free energy obtained in RH implied that it has the potential to serve as a source of bioenergy production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.04.020DOI Listing
August 2018

Thermogravimetric analysis and kinetic modeling of low-transition-temperature mixtures pretreated oil palm empty fruit bunch for possible maximum yield of pyrolysis oil.

Bioresour Technol 2018 May 31;255:189-197. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Department of Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan.

The impacts of low-transition-temperature mixtures (LTTMs) pretreatment on thermal decomposition and kinetics of empty fruit bunch (EFB) were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis. EFB was pretreated with the LTTMs under different duration of pretreatment which enabled various degrees of alteration to their structure. The TG-DTG curves showed that LTTMs pretreatment on EFB shifted the temperature and rate of decomposition to higher values. The EFB pretreated with sucrose and choline chloride-based LTTMs had attained the highest mass loss of volatile matter (78.69% and 75.71%) after 18 h of pretreatment. For monosodium glutamate-based LTTMs, the 24 h pretreated EFB had achieved the maximum mass loss (76.1%). Based on the Coats-Redfern integral method, the LTTMs pretreatment led to an increase in activation energy of the thermal decomposition of EFB from 80.00 to 82.82-94.80 kJ/mol. The activation energy was mainly affected by the demineralization and alteration in cellulose crystallinity after LTTMs pretreatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.01.132DOI Listing
May 2018

Optimization and kinetic study of ultrasonic assisted esterification process from rubber seed oil.

Bioresour Technol 2018 Jan 12;247:51-57. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Chemical Engineering Department, Biomass Processing Laboratory, Center of Biofuel and Biochemical Research (CBBR), Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 32610 Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

Recently, rubber seed oil (RSO) has been considered as a promising potential oil source for biodiesel production. However, RSO is a non-edible feedstock with a significant high free fatty acid (FFA) content which has an adverse impact on the process of biodiesel production. In this study, ultrasonic-assisted esterification process was conducted as a pre-treatment step to reduce the high FFA content of RSO from 40.14% to 0.75%. Response surface methodology (RSM) using central composite design (CCD) was applied to the design of experiments (DOE) and the optimization of esterification process. The result showed that methanol to oil molar ratio was the most influential factor for FFA reduction whereas the effect of amount of catalyst and the reaction were both insignificant. The kinetic study revealed that the activation energy and the frequency factor of the process are 52.577kJ/mol and 3.53×10min, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2017.09.075DOI Listing
January 2018

Choline chloride (ChCl) and monosodium glutamate (MSG)-based green solvents from optimized cactus malic acid for biomass delignification.

Bioresour Technol 2017 Nov 10;244(Pt 1):941-948. Epub 2017 Aug 10.

Department of Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan.

This work aimed to develop an efficient microwave-hydrothermal (MH) extraction of malic acid from abundant natural cactus as hydrogen bond donor (HBD) whereby the concentration was optimized using response surface methodology. The ideal process conditions were found to be at a solvent-to-feed ratio of 0.008, 120°C and 20min with 1.0g of oxidant, HO. Next generation environment-friendly solvents, low transition temperature mixtures (LTTMs) were synthesized from cactus malic acid with choline chloride (ChCl) and monosodium glutamate (MSG) as hydrogen bond acceptors (HBAs). The hydrogen-bonding interactions between the starting materials were determined. The efficiency of the LTTMs in removing lignin from oil palm biomass residues, empty fruit bunch (EFB) was also evaluated. The removal of amorphous hemicellulose and lignin after the pretreatment process resulted in an enhanced digestibility and thermal degradability of biomass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2017.08.043DOI Listing
November 2017

Optimization of hydrogen and syngas production from PKS gasification by using coal bottom ash.

Bioresour Technol 2017 Oct 24;241:284-295. Epub 2017 May 24.

Centre for Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar 32610, Perak, Malaysia.

Catalytic steam gasification of palm kernel shell is investigated to optimize operating parameters for hydrogen and syngas production using TGA-MS setup. RSM is used for experimental design and evaluating the effect of temperature, particle size, CaO/biomass ratio, and coal bottom ash wt% on hydrogen and syngas. Hydrogen production appears highly sensitive to all factors, especially temperature and coal bottom ash wt%. In case of syngas, the order of parametric influence is: CaO/biomass>coal bottom ash wt%>temperature>particle size. The significant catalytic effect of coal bottom ash is due to the presence of FeO, MgO, AlO, and CaO. A temperature of 692°C, coal bottom ash wt% of 0.07, CaO/biomass of 1.42, and particle size of 0.75mm are the optimum conditions for augmented yield of hydrogen and syngas. The production of hydrogen and syngas is 1.5% higher in the pilot scale gasifier as compared to TGA-MS setup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2017.05.119DOI Listing
October 2017

Process simulation and techno economic analysis of renewable diesel production via catalytic decarboxylation of rubber seed oil - A case study in Malaysia.

J Environ Manage 2017 Dec 27;203(Pt 3):950-961. Epub 2017 May 27.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Electronic address:

This work describes the economic feasibility of hydroprocessed diesel fuel production via catalytic decarboxylation of rubber seed oil in Malaysia. A comprehensive techno-economic assessment is developed using Aspen HYSYS V8.0 software for process modelling and economic cost estimates. The profitability profile and minimum fuels selling price of this synthetic fuels production using rubber seed oil as biomass feedstock are assessed under a set of assumptions for what can be plausibly be achieved in 10-years framework. In this study, renewable diesel processing facility is modelled to be capable of processing 65,000 L of inedible oil per day and producing a total of 20 million litre of renewable diesel product per annual with assumed annual operational days of 347. With the forecasted renewable diesel retail price of 3.64 RM per kg, the pioneering renewable diesel project investment offers an assuring return of investment of 12.1% and net return as high as 1.35 million RM. Sensitivity analysis conducted showed that renewable diesel production cost is most sensitive to rubber seed oil price and hydrogen gas price, reflecting on the relative importance of feedstock prices in the overall profitability profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.05.053DOI Listing
December 2017

Refining of crude rubber seed oil as a feedstock for biofuel production.

J Environ Manage 2017 Dec 28;203(Pt 3):1011-1016. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Jalan Broga, 43500, Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Crude rubber seed oil is a potential source for biofuel production. However it contains undesirable impurities such as peroxides and high oxidative components that not only affect the oil stability, colour and shelf-life but promote insoluble gums formation with time that could cause deposition in the combustion engines. Therefore to overcome these problems the crude rubber seed oil is refined by undergoing degumming and bleaching process. The effect of bleaching earth dosage (15-40 wt %), phosphoric acid dosage (0.5-1.0 wt %) and reaction time (20-40 min) were studied over the reduction of the peroxide value in a refined crude rubber seed oil. The analysis of variance shows that bleaching earth dosage was the most influencing factor followed by reaction time and phosphoric acid dosage. A minimum peroxide value of 0.1 milliequivalents/gram was achieved under optimized conditions of 40 wt % of bleaching earth dosage, 1.0 wt % of phosphoric acid dosage and 20 min of reaction time using Response Surface Methodology design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.04.021DOI Listing
December 2017

Pilot scale intensification of rubber seed (Hevea brasiliensis) oil via chemical interesterification using hydrodynamic cavitation technology.

Bioresour Technol 2017 Oct 11;242:272-282. Epub 2017 Mar 11.

Fundamental and Applied Sciences Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 32610 Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

Chemical interesterification of rubber seed oil has been investigated for four different designed orifice devices in a pilot scale hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) system. Upstream pressure within 1-3.5bar induced cavities to intensify the process. An optimal orifice plate geometry was considered as plate with 1mm dia hole having 21 holes at 3bar inlet pressure. The optimisation results of interesterification were revealed by response surface methodology; methyl acetate to oil molar ratio of 14:1, catalyst amount of 0.75wt.% and reaction time of 20min at 50°C. HC is compared to mechanical stirring (MS) at optimised values. The reaction rate constant and the frequency factor of HC were 3.4-fold shorter and 3.2-fold higher than MS. The interesterified product was characterised by following EN 14214 and ASTM D 6751 international standards.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2017.03.046DOI Listing
October 2017
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