Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences Vol 23 No 1 (2019): 80 - 89

DOI: 10.17576/mjas-2019-2301-10






(Penulenan Gas Biohidrogen yang Terhasil dari Fermentasi Efluen Kilang Minyak Kelapa Sawit Untuk Aplikasi Sel Bahan Api)


Ying Tao Chung 1,2, Rosiah Rohani 1*, Izzati Nadia Mohamad 1, Mohd Shahbudin Mastar@Masdar 1,2, Mohd Sobri Takriff 1


1Chemical Engineering Program & Research Centre for Sustainable Process Technology,

Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

2Fuel Cell Institute

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


*Corresponding author:



Received: 13 April 2017; Accepted: 17 April 2018




Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) is one of the major pollutants generated from palm oil mills. In Malaysia, POME is recognised as a promising source for producing biogas through a controlled fermentation process, which can be used as a source of renewable energy. Therefore, this research was conducted to upgrade the biohydrogen produced from POME fermentation via (i) absorption and (ii) membrane techniques. In this study, the current and power capacity of the purified biohydrogen was verified by using fuel cell. From the results, POME fermentation was found to consist of mainly H2 and CO2 of equal amounts. Therefore, biohydrogen purification using the absorption technique was next performed using three different solvents: methyl ethanol amine (MEA), ammonia (NH3) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) solutions and compared with the membrane permeation method using polysulfone (PSF) membrane. The highest H2 purity for MEA solutions was found to be 99%, at 1 M concentration and 5.0 mL/s feed mixed gas flow rate at 60 minutes absorption time. The purified biohydrogen using PSF membrane possessed the highest H2 purity at nearly 77% at the pressure of 3 bar. The purified biohydrogen obtained from the two separation techniques were next tested in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell and directly compared with the original biohydrogen mixture obtained from POME fermentation (50% H2), where the gas ratios were represented using simulated gas composition. The findings in this study identified that the current and power produced at 100% H2 (similar H2 purity from the absorption technique) was 1.66 A and 9.31 W while at 75% H2 (similar H2 purity from the membrane technique) the current was 0.69 A and 3.01 W. Therefore, the results prove that both purification techniques demonstrate the significant potential for H2 purification efficiency.


Keywords:  absorption, alkaline solvent, biohydrogen, carbon dioxide, palm oil mill effluent, treatment



Efluen kilang minyak kelapa sawit (POME) merupakan salah satu daripada pencemar utama yang dihasilkan daripada kilang minyak sawit. Terkini, ianya telah dikenalpasti sebagai salah satu sumber yang berpotensi untuk menghasilkan biogas di Malaysia melalui kaedah fermentasi di dalam bioreaktor dalam keadaan terkawal, yang boleh dijadikan sebagai sumber tenaga diperbaharui. Oleh itu, kajian ini dijalankan bagi menambahbaik biohidrogen yang dihasilkan dari fermentasi POME menerusi (i) teknik penyerapan dan (ii) teknik membran. Kapasiti arus dan kuasa yang terhasil menerusi penulenan biohidrogen kemudiannya telah ditentukan menggunakan sel bahan api. Daripada keputusan yang diperoleh, fermentasi POME mengandungi gas H2 dan CO2 sahaja, dengan jumlah yang sama. Oleh itu, penulenan biohidrogen menggunakan teknik penyerapan telah dilakukan menggunakan tiga jenis pelarut iaitu larutan metil etanol amina (MEA), ammonia (NH3) dan kalium hidroksida (KOH) dan kaedah ini kemudiannya dibandingkan dengan teknik pemisahan membran, iaitu dengan menggunakan membran polisulfon (PSF). Peratusan tertinggi bagi H2 yang telah ditulenkan menggunakan pelarut MEA adalah 99% pada kepekatan 1 M, kelajuan gas 5.0 mL/s dan masa penyerapan 60 minit. Sementara itu, penulenan biohidrogen menggunakan membran PSF mempunyai peratusan tertinggi penulenan H2 hampir 77% pada tekanan 3 bar. Biohidrogen yang telah ditulenkan melalui kedua-dua teknik pemisahan telah diuji dalam sel bahan api PEM dan ianya telah dibandingkan secara langsung dengan campuran biohidrogen asal dari fermentasi POME (50% H2), yang mana kesemua nisbah gas telah diwakili oleh komposisi gas tersimulasi. Arus dan kuasa yang telah dihasilkan pada 100% H2 (ketulenan H2 menyerupai peratusan dari teknik penyerapan) adalah 1.66 A dan 9.31 W manakala pada 75% H2 (ketulenan H2 menyerupai peratusan dari teknik membran) adalah 0.69 A dan 3.01 W. Keputusan ini telah membuktikan bahawa kedua-dua teknik penulenan biogas berpotensi tinggi bagi meninggikan kecekapan penulenan gas H2.


Kata kunci:  penyerapan, pelarut alkali, biohidrogen, karbon dioksida, efluen minyak kelapa sawit, rawatan



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