Dutch expertise helps Malaysian ambitions in the reuse of palmoil residues

Friday January 27, 2017 13:48

ECN is leading a consortium of Dutch enterprises with a mission to develop sustainable solutions for Malaysian palmoil residues. The Palmares consortium was launched late December 2016.

Palmoil is a major export product for Malaysia. However, alongside the palm oil that is harvested, there are residual materials that stay behind such as branches, empty fruit bunches or fruit pulp.  Rather than being left to waste (and emit methane), these residues are suitable for a wide variety of sustainable solutions such as use in green energy production. They also contain valuable nutrients that can be applied as soil enhancers.

“There is a huge volume of these residues available in Malaysia,” says ECN-researcher Rian Visser. “At the same time, the Malaysian government has major ambitions to develop sustainable solutions for the use of these residues. This offers an unprecedented chance to The Netherlands to apply our knowledge and expertise in Malaysia.” The sustainable use of biomass residues is an important component of the circular economy.

Complementing specialties
The Palmares consortium consists of six enterprises: Royal Dahlman, DMT Enironmental Technology, Energy Transformers, Blackwood Technology, Witteveen+Bos en Paques. “These companies all offer a unique specialty which complements the others,” says Visser. Additionally, ECN and the Wageningen Research Centre are the two participating research institutes.

ECN is responsible for the coordinating and communication services of the consortium, but also plays a part in the research. Visser explains: “We offer support in the bioenergy research from biomass residues. Additionally, we have developed a method to co-produce bio-energy and so called biochar as a product for soil improvement. We also intend to apply our knowledge in this field in Malaysia.”

Palmares emerged as a PIB (Partners for International Business), a Dutch governmental program which promotes efforts of and cooperation between Dutch enterprises and institutions abroad. The Dutch government facilitates contacts between Dutch partners and, in this case, the Malaysian government and enterprises. The partnerships are intended to be Business-to-Business (B2B), but also knowledge-to-knowledge(K2K) and government-to-government (G2G). 

The first quarter of 2017 will see an inception mission to Malaysia, says Visser. “We will initiate contacts and partnerships. A detailed work plan for the next three years will result from this mission.” After three years of support from Palmares, long-standing partnerships should be the result.

More information and contact
Please contact Ms Rian Visser via our contact form for more information about the Palmares project.

Category: Corporate, Biomass