THE Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) should study the feasibility of
using renewable gas for public transport like taxis and for more
heavy-duty industrial use, a senior industry executive said.
Malaysian Palm Oil Association chief executive Datuk Mamat Salleh said
the palm oil industry should not limit itself to just converting methane
gas into electricity for sale to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
“There should be more options. The MPOB (Malaysia Palm Oil Board) should
also explore the possibility of compressing methane into cooking gas
tanks for household use in remote areas.
“And if our scientists
and engineers are able to come up with ways to extract a significant
amount of purified methane for sale to the national gas pipeline, why
not?” he said in an interview with Business Times.
Some palm oil mills in the country already have biogas plants, which
trap captured methane gas from palm oil mill effluents to reduce air
pollution. Methane is a more harmful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide
While a small number of mills use the captured methane
to produce electricity for their own use, or for sale to TNB, most
biogas plants simply burn the methane, turning it into CO2.
should be adding value. The current practice of methane-flaring is akin
to letting money go up in smoke. That’s a waste of a highly efficient
fuel,” Mamat said.
Currently, Peninsular Malaysia faces a gas
shortage and some industry players have floated the idea of supplying
methane to the national gas pipeline.
However, it is unclear if
the idea is viable as it will probably require a substantial amount of
methane gas for it to work.
“Methane captured for sale as fuel
is good for the environment, and palm oil millers get to earn some
money in supplying energy, be it renewable natural gas or electricity,”
Source : Business Times
by Ooi Tee Ching
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