Biorefining oil palm waste residues

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology


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Description We held a three day workshop at UTM to explore opportunities for making technological developments in the utilisation of oil palm residues. The workshop brought together a wider range of individual experts from the UK and Malaysia to discuss the potential of oil palm residues, and the technological approaches required to produce sustainable biofuels and chemicals. The workshop will included the principal and Leonardo Gomez from York, Clare Halpin from University of Dundee (a leader in lignin research) and Lindsay Stringer from the University of Leeds (a leader in sustainable development), and investigators from UTM, as well as representatives from the palm oil industry. The workshop was hosted at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and the agenda had a particular emphasis on facilitating the exchange of ideas and to discuss and develop the proposed collaborative programs. The workshop includes a visit to an oil palm plantation and an oil palm mill.
Exploitation Route The capacity and capability that has been developed from the workshop has been important for the development of a GCRF RCUK Hubs application entitled 'GCRF Insect Biotechnology for Sustainable Food Hub' that has now been invited to the full application stage. In our GCRF hubs bid we aim to address the societal and health impacts of poor protein quality in the diets of animals and humans in rural Africa. Through the exploitation of untapped, abundant, low-value crop residues and using technology developed by our SE Asian partners, we will produce black soldier fly (BSF) larvae as a sustainable source of high quality protein for mono-gastric livestock. An organic soil amendment from insect rearing will also be generated and this will be used to improve the yield of protein crops. Community scale implementation of enabling technologies and knowledge transfer will be undertaken in DAC partner countries.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

Description Collaboration with UTM 
Organisation University of Technology, Malaysia
Country Malaysia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The award has enabled exchanges of ESRs between the two Universities. We have trained students from UTM in various laboratory and bioinformatic techniques.
Collaborator Contribution Our colleagues at UTM have made intellectual contributions to our collaboration, arranges site visits and engaged with Malaysian legislators.
Impact The capacity and capability that has been developed from the collaboration was important for the development of a GCRF RCUK Hub application entitled 'GCRF Insect Biotechnology for Sustainable Food Hub' that was invited to the full application stage. The full application was not successful
Start Year 2017