Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK), Malaysia’s national sewerage company, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work with EMB Business Sdn Bhd, a green technology provider to pioneer the production of ethanol and biogas generated from wastewater processing. The partners aim to benefit downstream industries such as petrochemicals and serve as a secondary source for manufacturing other products, in line with the national green economy transformation strategy.
The innovation explores a new cyclical economic resource model in treated wastewater, focusing on the cycle and reuse, energy and nutrient recovery, and energy and gas recovery. Wastewater is used as a source of nutrients and carbon in processing products such as ethanol, acetone, butanol, and bio-aggregator. Data from IWK has shown that around 2.97 billion cm of treated sewage waste is annually discharged into the rivers, and the resulting sludge is disposed of in a landfill. Initially, 15 liters of raw sewage could generate 15% butanol gas for cooking gas fuel and fuel source for mobile stoves and 1.5% ethanol for medical use and fuel for vehicles.
Further, EMB is verifying the construction costs for building a technology system on a large scale while looking into business opportunities with potential buyers such as sanitizer operators and healthcare players. Both parties are also partnering with Universiti Teknologi MARA and have produced an alcoholic liquid that materialized from wastewater at room temperature. Malaysia has allocated MYR 6.75 billion (USD 1.47 billion) for the sewerage sector in realizing the frameworks of the National Water Sector Transformation 2040.
(Sources: IWK; The Star Online; Malaysian Reserve)