KUCHING – As part of a concerted effort to address global warming Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) recently awarded Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus a project to develop membrane technology for the separation of carbon dioxide from natural gas.
Swinburne Sarawak Pro Vice-Chancellor and CEO Ir Professor Lau Hieng Ho received the project award at the Petronas-Academia Collaboration Dialogue Appreciation Day, which was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
“Once again, through this award, it affirms that Swinburne Sarawak researchers are capable of operating at the world stage. We strive to put our know-how in addressing global challenges, and do so by collaborating with leading global industry,” Professor Lau said.
The membrane technology research project is part of an effort to address rising temperatures worldwide, which has led to an increasing need for carbon capture and sequestration technology to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.
The project explores the development of a new dual-phase ceramic-carbonate hollow fibre membrane to separate carbon dioxide from natural gas. The technology is needed due to the high concentration of acid gases in raw natural gas where conventional polymeric membrane technology proved lacking.
The research, aligned to Petronas’ key focus areas, is led by Professor Jaka Sunarso from Swinburne Sarawak’s Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science, and Dr Claudia Li who recently completed her PhD under Professor Jaka’s supervision. Dr Li is currently undergoing a post-doctoral training at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Involved as co-investigators are Universiti Teknologi Petronas’ (UTP) Dr Lau Kok Keong and Dr Yeong Yin Fong, NUS’ Associate Professor Sibudjing Kawi, Shandong University of Technology’s Professor Meng Xiuxia, and Beijing University of Chemical Technology’s Professor Liu Shaomin.
A postdoctoral and a PhD student will take up the project and the research will involve attachments at the NUS and UTP.
The project, among 23 final proposals that were selected from a hundred submitted, will be managed by Swinburne Sarawak’s commercial arm, Swinburne Innovation Malaysia Sdn Bhd (SWIM).
Swinburne Sarawak was among 11 institutions to win projects and was the only institution from East Malaysia to do so. Other winners included research intensive universities such as Monash University, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
The research project will be administered through Petronas Research Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary and research and development platform of Petronas.
The event is a follow-up of the online Petronas-Academia Collaboration Dialogue 2021 where Professor Jaka and his colleagues Professor Lau Bee Theng and Dr Chew Jiuan Jing presented chemical engineering research projects at Swinburne Sarawak.