KUALA LUMPUR: Nextgreen Global Bhd is pushing ahead with its production of pulp from oil palm biomass with the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
The company said its unit Nextgreen Pulp & Paper Sdn Bhd (NGPP) had inked the MoA with UPM to allow for a technology licensing by NGPP from UPM.
The technology involved the production of nanocellulose from oil palm biomass, which has been developed by a group of UPM researchers led by Assoc. Prof. Dr Hidayah Ariffin from the faculty of biotechnology and biomolecular sciences and INTROP, UPM.
“The licensing agreement with the duration of 30 months started in August 2019 involving a licensing fee of RM550,000 to be paid by NGPP to UPM, ” it said.
The MoA is the latest development in the MoU signed between UPM and NGPP in 2017 for a general collaboration.
Nextgreen Global pointed out nanocellulose developed in UPM is a collaborative project with Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan.
“Nanocellulose has various potential applications, such as for plastic composite making, cosmetics, as thickening agent in paint and food industries, as well as a strengthening agent for paper products.
“Nanocellulose is produced from paper pulp which is produced from pulp making process. As a producer of pulp from oil palm biomass, NGPP will be working with UPM in producing paper packaging product, whereby nanocellulose will be used as an additive in the packaging product to improve its properties, ” it said.
Through this project, both parties aim to create a green, environmentally friendly and biodegradable food packaging product, which would help the Malaysian government towards achieving its goal in reducing the use of single-use plastics.
Nextgreen said NGPP, which manufactures of EFB pulp and paper in Green Technology Park (GTP), Pahang, which is an eco-innovative industrial park powered by zero waste technology and renewable energy.
“NGPP has patented an exclusive technology for producing high-quality EFB pulp, known as preconditioning refiner chemical-recycle bleached mechanised pulp (PRC-RBMP).
“This pulp will be used in the R&D project on sustainable food packaging in collaboration with UPM to offer a viable replacement to polystyrene food packaging following a global shift in consumer preference towards sustainable packaging solutions.
“The project will also add value to the oil palm industry while reducing its disposal issues, ” Nextgreen said.