Biodiesel – The Way Forward
The world is facing a major threat. Oil reserves around the world are depleting fast to meet the ever increasing demands of men. After reaching parity in the late 1980s, the rate of discovery of oil reserves has been overtaken by its consumption rate since 2003 (Mousdale 409). We have to face this undeniable fact that it is not going to stop any time soon, neither is the dependency of mankind towards this priceless commodity. Mankind is facing a dark cloud of uncertainty in leading towards a sustainable future. Unless fuel economy is radically boosted by technological changes, price pressures on oil products caused by a dwindling or static supply will act to maintain high oil and gasoline prices. Given the highly uncertain time line of global oil supply and the lack of any other substitute for fossil fuel carbon other than marine plant biomass, the unavoidable conclusion is that, sooner or later, the onus on scientists is to find a biotechnology or when the oil finally runs out, possibly within the next 60 years (Mousdale 412). However, a research team led by Malaysia’s own Dr. Ishenny Mohd. Noor of University Malaya, has led to the discovery and invention of the BioPro Diesel; a spark of hope, which will revolutionize the petroleum industry. The BioPro Diesel is distinct from the ordinary diesel, as it is catalyzed from the conversion of palm oil effluent, a waste product of processed palm oil. In contrast to conventional diesel, which is an exhaustible resource, BioPro Diesel is produced from renewable feedstock, thus making their production and use could, in theory, be sustained indefinitely. Although Malaysia’s own innovation is the way forward as it brings prosperity to the economy and is a surrogate to conventional diesel, nevertheless it disrupts ecological balance in a long run.
The introduction of BioPro Diesel into the market would be able to generate the Malaysian economy. Malaysia is blessed in having the late Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, to spearhead the FELDA project, a federal government initiative responsible in developing rural resettlement areas for the sole purpose of rural economic development. This bold initiative of setting up palm oil plantations across the country in the late 1950’s proved to be a success, 50 years later. Today, Malaysia accounts for 41.3 % of palm oil production in the world, with 17 735 000 tonnes of palm oil produced based on a study conducted by Oil World 2008 (Malaysia). With the vast amount of oil palm plantations in the country, BioPro Diesel is able to generate an estimate total revenue of RM 7.8 trillion a year from palm oil mill effluent (POME), a waste product from palm oil which is a major component in BioPro Diesel (Mohd. Noor). Agriculture has always been a large part of the Malaysian economy, as it constitutes 12% of the national Gross Domestic Product, based on the 2011 census. Therefore, the rise of BioPro Diesel in the industry would ultimately provide job opportunities for the local community, especially to those living in the rural areas. The construction of infrastructure pertaining to the development of BioPro Diesel such as roads, bridges, and factories, demand a large working force, thus enabling farmers and farm related workers to slowly transition from their agricultural based economy to that of an industrialized one. In addition, the use of technologically advanced devices and machines would enable the locals themselves to specialize in fields relating to the production of BioPro Diesel, thus increasing the standard of living and productivity of the community and at the same time, reducing the dependency of the government on foreign labor. The Malaysian economy would be further boosted with the injection of funds by foreign and local companies towards the development of BioPro Diesel. Companies such as Sime Darby and IOI Group have pledged to invest in BioPro Diesel plants, thus increasing direct...
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