Success for PETRONAS at Malaysia chemical engineering awards

17th October 2017

Malaysia’s oil and gas entity, PETRONAS, scooped three out of seven Awards at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Malaysia Awards last night. Held at the InterContinental in Kuala Lumpur, it celebrated outstanding achievements in the Malaysian chemical engineering community.

IChemE Malaysia Chair, Professor Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Raman kicked off the ceremony with a welcome address, and announced the launch of Professor Dominic Foo’s latest work – Chemical Engineering Process Simulation.

PETRONAS dominated the Oil & Gas Award category at the finalist stage, and eventually won for its project with the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics. The novel technology uses a membrane contactor to remove CO2 from natural gas and improve gas processing.

PETRONAS were also highly commended in the category for their project with East 101, using process simulation technology to reduce Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) issues. The project went on to win the Process Safety Award later on in the evening. The technology accurately determines where insulation was installed unnecessarily, and has the potential to reduce operating costs significantly.

They later triumphed when Nurhazwani Jusaimi, who works for the Group Technical Solutions division, took home the Young Industrialist Award, sponsored by Schaefer Kalk.

Meanwhile, the Palm Oil Industry Award sponsored by Sime Darby Plantation, went to ExcelVite Sdn Bhd. The project uses molecular distillation technology to extract five different phytonutrients from crude palm oil. This can be used to enhance a variety of products, from pharmacueticals to fuel. 

Felda Global Ventures, Green Lizard Technologies Ltd and Dixie Chemical (USA) took the Sustainability Award for their evaporation method, using a thin film and high temperatures to yield high volumes of glycidol from cheap, renewable glycerol. 

DNVGL’s Graduate Development Programme (GDP) won the Training & Development Award. The programme consists of on and off-the-job training, with dedicated mentors guiding graduate chemical engineers in the necessary technical skills to enable them to become Chartered.

Tan Lling Lling from Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, was awarded the Young Researcher Award, for her work in nanotechnology. The Award was generously sponsored by IChemE Fellow, Dato’ Muhtar Hashim. 

Chair of IChemE Malaysia, Professor Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Raman, said:

“We have once again celebrated a fantastic night of achievements in chemical engineering. Tonight’s winners should be incredibly proud of their achievements. They are helping to advance the profession to provide real benefit to wider society, particularly in Malaysia.

“Chemical engineering matters, because it is a huge contributor to this nation’s economy.  I’m delighted to see so many dedicated, passionate individuals and organisations making a difference. Congratulations again and hope you have enjoyed this wonderful celebration.”

Winners of the national IChemE Malaysia Awards will automatically be shortlisted for the IChemE Global Awards, which will be held on 2 November 2017 in Birmingham, UK. The Palm Oil Award winner is automatically entered into the Sustainability Award category at the Global Awards.

Official winners of the IChemE Malaysia Awards 2017

Oil & Gas Award

Winner: Membrane Contactor for Acid Gas Removal, PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd.; Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP)

Highly Commended: Leveraging Simulation to Reduce CUI Issues, PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd (PMA), East 101

Summary of winning entry:

PETRONAS and DICP have developed a novel technology that uses a membrane contactor to remove CO2 from natural gas, providing more contact area and better mass transfer compared to a conventional absorber column. It is suitable for use in both bulk acid gas processing, and final polishing of CO2. Offering an 80% reduction in size, 40% reduction in weight, and 40% reduction in solvent usage; it eliminates problems of foaming, flooding and use of secondary chemicals, commonly encountered in conventional methods.

Process Safety Award sponsored by DNV GL

Winner: Leveraging Simulation to Reduce CUI Issues, PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd (PMA), East 101

Highly Commended: Step Change in Polymerisation Reaction Safety, Synthomer Sdn. Bhd.

Summary of winning entry:

Corrosion under Insulation (CUI), is a multi-billion dollar issue faced by the industry, occuring when there is a moisture build-up between piping and insulation favors.. This  improved methodology was demonstrated on an existing facility, which leverages simulation technology to provide quantitative results.  The results can determine where insulation was installed unnecessarily, or provide comparisons of increased operating costs against reduced maintenance costs and process risks. In this case, the estimated cost for one replacement of the insulated piping sections of the compression system is RM1.59 million and 100kg CO2 emissions.

Palm Oil Industry Award sponsored by Sime Darby Plantation

Winner: Novel Process for Palm Phytonutrient Extraction- Locally-Produced, Internationally Recognised, ExcelVite Sdn. Bhd.

Highly Commended: MICRONES: Palm Oil Extraction System, Fibaloy International Sdn. Bhd.; University Putra Malaysia

Summary of winning entry:

Crude palm oil contains a bouquet of valuable phytonutrients which are not found in any other oils. ExcelVite’s novel and proprietary molecular distillation technology enables the extraction of five different phytonutrients. These, in particularespecially tocotrienol (EVNol SupraBio™) is  most significant in the area of stroke protection, cardioprotection, skin nutrition and liver health research. In addition, ExcelVite’s process allows the production of high quality biodiesel (EVFuel™).

Sustainability Award

Winner: Glycidol production using thin film evaporation, Felda Global Ventures (MY); Green Lizard Technologies Ltd.(UK); Dixie Chemical (USA)

Highly Commended: VAPTH processing of recovered EBN, Agridon Technologies Sdn. Bhd.; Malaysia Innovation Hub

Summary of winning entry:

This international team has discovered an innovative and highly competitive method for  glycidol production from glycerol carbonate ( easily produced from the biodiesel coproduct; glycerol). The patented process design, includes a thin film evaporator integrated with high temperature reactor, which helps maximise yield and minimises feed decomposition to polymeric by-products.. What’s more, the simple equipment process  allows easy  integration with downstream application processes, including the manufacture of glycidyl methacrylate -  used in automotive coatings.

Training & Development Award

Winner: Graduate Development Programme (GDP), DNVGL

Highly Commended: PCASB Process Safety iCARE(PSiCARE) Program, PETRONAS Chemicals Ammonia Sdn. Bhd.

Summary of winning entry:

DNVGL’s Graduate Development programme has been developed to prepare young engineers for becoming Chartered Chemical Engineers.  The programme is based on some of IChemE’s ‘Get Chartered’ requirements, and broken down into two parts:

1) on the job training, where engineers are trained based on the project they are working on, and 2) off the job training, provided by DNVGL to cover most, if not all, soft skills. All engineers are assigned to a mentor to help them identify any gaps in their competency matrix, and provided with the necessary materials for them to master both technical and practical skills. 

Young Researcher Award sponsored by Dato’ Muhtar Hashim, CEng, FIChemE

Winner: Tan Lling Lling, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

Highly Commended: Liew Peng Yen, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Summary of winning entry:

Tan Lling-Lling is a lecturer at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Monash University.

She is an early career researcher who is active in the areas of advanced materials, nanotechnology and photocatalysis. Her research interests are on the rational design and development of two-dimensional hybrid nanostructures for artificial photosynthesis and environmental remediation.
To date, Tan has published more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific papers in high-impact journals and co-authored two book chapters on photocatalysis. She currently holds an h-index of 15 with over 1100 number of citations.

Young Industrialist Award sponsored by Schaefer Kalk

Winner: Nurhazwani Jusaimi, Group Technical Solutions, PETRONAS

Highly Commended: Ainul Najwa Sazali, PETRONAS Chemicals Glycols Sdn Bhd

Summary of winning entry:

Nurhazwani graduated with Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. She currently holds a position as Process Simulation and Optimisation Engineer in Group Technical Solutions, PETRONAS. She has 5 years of experience in consulting and process troubleshooting in the area of offshore facilities, transfer pipeline, gas processing and petrochemical plants. As a young and budding engineer, she has contributed significantly to PETRONAS capital project and innovative solution for pipeline leak study which concerning cost loss, safety and environment. She has also published and presented papers on pipeline at offshore conference and chemical engineering conference.