Some International Research Initiatives at UTM
- The collaboration between UTM, University of Cambridge and Rolls Royce Plc
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has been appointed by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology, an organisation under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), to conduct a collaborative research with the University of Cambridge (UC) and Rolls Royce Plc under the Offset Trent 900 Programme to investigate the possibility of using biofuels for gas turbine combustion with a project cost of £220,163.00, fully funded by MOSTI. This programme is part of the RM 4,984,000.00 worth of Science Fund research grant given to UTM to conduct a research project entitled, ‘Development of a Database for Biofuel Combusition Properties’.
The expertise of the University of Cambridge on the combustion of fuels and Rolls Royce’s strong presence in Malaysia, coupled with UTM’s niche on biofuels are expected to provide a synergistic approach to ensure the success of the collaboration. The proposed collaborative research, which is expected to be primarily based in the University of Cambridge, England, and in UTM, will focus on the development of an experimental database on the combustion of biofuels, which are derivatives of palm oil, relative to conventional kerosene fuels. In parallel, a computational programme will develop physical-chemical models for the combustion of these fuels. Rolls Royce will act as an advisor to the research team.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tholudin Mat Lazim (UTM)
Assoc. Prof. Ainullotfi Abdul Latif (UTM)
Dr. Cant (CU)
Dr Jamaluddin Sheriff (UTM)
Dr. Mohd. Shariff Ammoo (UTM)
Dr. Mazlan Abdul Wahid (UTM)
Mohsin Mohd Sies (UTM)
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Azeman Mustafa (UTM)
- The collaboration between UTM and Imperial College, London
This project aims at underpinning our research collaboration in the field of membranes for energy applications and CO2 capture. It encompasses membrane catalysis, novel multi-functional membrane fabrication and performance of its reactor systems. The work will involve a highly multi-disciplinary effort with two leading teams of investigators/researchers comprising membrane technologists, chemists and chemical engineers. The research to be performed will call upon the complimentary expertise of the teams to examine a number of key challenges so that new membranes for hydrogen permeation can be developed in an applied context making the production of low carbon energy and carbon capture processes possible.
We propose to develop a multi-functional membrane reactor for production of clean hydrogen at low temperatures. It involves the combination of several advanced, but individually proven, low temperature catalysts and membrane technologies recently developed by us. The novel membrane to be developed consists of an Al2O3 which will be fabricated into an asymmetric hollow fibre support onto which a water-gas-shaft reaction catalyst will be deposited in the porous side and a thermal stable polyaniline (PAni) membrane will be coated on the opposite dense side. Such an approach of fabricating an oxide support + active metal catalyst + polymer separation/distribution layer with combined function of low temperature water-gas-shift (WGS) catalysts and H2 separation/water distribution has not been reported before. The major advantage of this novel reactor is that, due to the low operating temperature and selective permeation of H2 and H2O, extremely high CO conversions can be achieved without catalyst deactivation via either thermal deactivation or hydrolysis, enabling the required long term stability of the catalyst on stream to be achieved. Also, in this reactor, both the WGS reaction and H2 permeation take place simultaneously, resulting in a pure H2 permeated stream and a CO2 enriched retentate stream, which is ready for sequestration.
The proposed research is multi-disciplinary and involves two universities in order to provide the necessary research expertise in chemistry, membrane technology and chemical engineering for all aspects of the project namely, membrane fabrication, catalyst preparation and membrane reactor design. This research will utilise the complementary skills of the separate institutions in science, technology and engineering. An important aspect of the proposed research is that, although the membrane technology being developed within the project is focused on the WGS reaction, the membrane fabrication techniques and process understanding generated from this reaction are generic and may be widely applied to a wide range of heterogeneously catalysed gas phase reactions.
- The collaboration between UTM and King Saud University
The current project will carry out theoretical and experimental studies on utilizing membrane technology for nitrogen removal from Saudi natural gas. The potential future work should focus on developing innovative new materials for nitrogen separation from the natural gas and also developing techniques for manufacturing the membrane materials within the kingdom.
The overall objective of this project is to investigate the potential use of membrane technology for nitrogen removal from Saudi natural gas which contains a high percentage of nitrogen. The main objectives of the research are:
- Assessment of the technical performance of different membrane materials for efficient separation of nitrogen from Saudi natural gas.
- Experimental validation of the performance of selected membranes using nitrogen-rich Saudi natural gas as a feedstock.
- Assessment of different membrane configurations (single-stage membrane unit as well as cascade membrane system) for the separation process.
- Optimization of the type and configuration of membrane system as well as the operating parameters. A hybrid system will also be considered in this study.
- Assessment of the economics of the use of membrane technology and comparison with the conventional cryogenic process.
Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al-Rabiah (Chemical Engineering Department, King Saud University) – Website
Prof. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail (Faculty of Chemical and Natural Resources Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) – Website
Prof. Dr. Saeed M. Al-Zahrani (Chemical Engineering Department, King Saud University) – Website
Prof. Dr. AbdelHamid M. Ajbar (Chemical Engineering Department, King Saud University) – Website