Pilot study finds raw sewage able to produce butanol, ethanol

Datuk Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man

CYBERJAYA – A pilot study conducted at the Cyberjaya Sewage Treatment Plant found that every 15 litres of raw sewage can produce 15 per cent butanol gas and 1.5 per cent ethanol.

Environment and Water Minister Dato Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the study conducted by Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) Sdn Bhd and local company EMB Business Sdn Bhd was in line with efforts towards a circular economy in exploring the potential of sewage waste as a source of renewable energy.

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“The butanal gas produced from raw sewage can be used as cooking gas fuel as well as a fuel source for mobile stoves, while ethanol can be used for medical purposes and as fuel for vehicles.” .

He said this at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between IWK and EMB to explore the production of ethanol and bio-gas for commercial purposes here today.

Tuan Ibrahim said the collaboration would be able to transform sewage sources that used to be of no value, into a new cyclical economic resource for the country.

He said the sewerage sector is one of the critical components in realising the Water Sector Transformation 2040, and as such, RM5.1 billion was allocated under the 11th Malaysia Plan, followed by RM1.75 billion in the First and Second Rolling Plans under the 12th Malaysia Plan for implementation of sewerage projects nationwide.

Meanwhile, IWK chief executive officer Narendran Maniam, said together with EMB, they plan to increase production of ethanol and bio-gas.

“ IWK is analysing the cost of producing the green technology on a large scale and aims to have a sewage plant capable of producing the new energy commercially within two to three years,” he added.