AquaEco launches palm oil green tech sys­tem

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ - BY EE ANN NEE

KUALA LUMPUR: Aqua Ecotech Sdn Bhd (AquaEco) es­ti­mates that RM1.2 bil­lion worth of oil can be re­cov­ered in Malaysia an­nu­ally us­ing its palm oil raw sludge fil­tra­tion sys­tem, AquaE­coSRORS (Solids Re­moval Oil Re­cov­ery Sys­tem), which the lit­tle-known com­pany launched yes­ter­day.

AquaEco di­rec­tor and prin­ci­pal share­holder An­drew Liew said AquaEco-SRORS will trans­form the palm oil in­dus­try by al­low­ing millers to ad­dress long-stand­ing palm oil waste sludge chal­lenges that have been a ma­jor in­dus­try prob­lem and costly af­fair for decades.

He said AquaEco-SRORS en­ables the ex­trac­tion of up to 80% of the oil in raw palm oil sludge. This trans­lates to an im­prove­ment of 0.4%-0.6% in oil ex­trac­tion rate (OER), re­duc­tion of bio­gas emis­sion by 70% and the out­put of an oil-free fil­trate with no sus­pended solids that is dis­charged into waste wa­ter treat­ment ponds.

This, he said, is a big deal for palm oil millers as this green tech­nol­ogy dras­ti­cally re­duces the high chem­i­cal oxy­gen de­mand and bi­o­log­i­cal oxy­gen de­mand in waste wa­ter. This up­lifts the en­tire state of the in­dus­try to be much cleaner and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

“An­nu­ally, an av­er­age mill that pro­cesses 300,000 tonnes of crop will be able to re­cover 1,462 tonnes oil or 0.5% OER, trans­lat­ing to an in­cre­men­tal rev­enue of RM3.8 mil­lion,” Liew said af­ter in­tro­duc­ing AquaEco-SRORS.

Cur­rently the av­er­age OER of Malaysia’s palm oil stands at 20.65%. With AquaEco-SRORS, the en­tire in­dus­try’s pro­duc­tion would in­crease to 21.15% (with ex­ist­ing palm oil fruit pro­duce).

There are about 450 palm oil mills op­er­at­ing in the coun­try cur­rently.

Hav­ing in­stalled the sys­tem in two palm oil mills in the coun­try –one each in San­dakan, Sabah, and Bota, Perak – the com­pany is in talks with three to four mills to in­stall the sys­tem, which costs RM5 mil­lion to RM12 mil­lion, de­pend­ing on ca­pac­ity and setup.

Palm oil millers can ex­pect a re­turn on in­vest­ment in less than three years, he added.

AquaEco took five years to de­velop and fine-tune the AquaEco-SRORS tech­nol­ogy into a com­mer­cially vi­able and proven in­vest­ment for palm oil millers.

AquaEco plans to in­tro­duce the sys­tem in In­done­sia. AquaEco-SRORS is patented in Malaysia, Thailand and In­done­sia.

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