Saturday, June 09, 2012

On Other Notes


I'm terribly sorry for not updating this blog for quite some time now. I have been quite occupied with stuffs lately that I can't seem to be able to write anything at all (except a series of otherwise neglected compulsory engineering reports). Since the past two weeks I had been attending a few events and visited a few key sites around the states of Selangor and Perak. With the long journeys and this and that, I'd normally hit the bed dead tired after a long day. 

And I'm sorry I haven't been quite able to update on Min too. As we speak, I am currently drafting the next episode. I hope I will be able to update by this weekend.

On other notes, I have been snapping pictures around and here are the snippets of what I have been up to these two weeks. A note on each photo is provided after every image. Enjoy!

* * *

Mesyuarat Agong UMNO SSLK 2012

I attended the Mesyuarat Agong UMNO Seri Setia Lembah Keramat last week as the Youth Wing representative and also the Youth Info Chief. Almost a hundred of UMNO members attended the session which was also attended and officiated by the Gombak UMNO Division Leader Abdul Rahim Kamarudin and the UMNO Division Youth Leader Datuk Hj. Megat Zulkarnain Tan Sri Omardin along with the UMNO Divison Women's Wing Leader, Datin Sharifah Salmah Syed Agil. 

Since UMNO SSLK is among  one of the most active branches in Gombak Division, the meeting has been quite an important one to dictate the movement of the party next in facing the incoming PRU13. The meeting concluded in the afternoon right after the delegates to attend the meeting at the Division and National level were selected. The Youth and Girl movements of the party have been mobilized to a greater momentum especially when it comes to serving the division during PRU13 where their roles have been gallantly placed at some of the most important posts in the Pusat Daerah Mengundi (PDM) DUN Hulu Klang. I myself am the Assistant Secretary for the PDM DUN Hulu Klang in which the aim is to recover the fall in 2008 and claim back Hulu Klang from the ruling state government. 

Sleepy heads

I spent the next day at home with these cubs, among the most useless we ever had in the family. All they did every day is eating non-stop and sleep at odd places. For instance, on this priceless hand-carved Medan-made Jati furniture. But then again their dormant attitude made them all lovable enough to receive an increasing portion of kibbles, rice and fish every day. 

When I sleep at night, they'll sleep at the end of my legs. I used to push them off the bed sometimes just for the fun of it but they'll climb back to their still-warm spot in which the air-conditioning unit blew straight at their direction. And the cats slept soundly all night long, while I found myself stuck in my bed because they lied on my legs, if not my stomach. 

Damn it.

The ever-celebrated oil palm fronds, with leaflets removed

Good news. The Biomass Gasification Laboratory Research has been trying to obtain large, continuous supplies of oil palm fronds (OPF) for research purposes and we were able to secure a lifelong (at least that's what the document says) supply of all-you-can-take OPF from the nearby FELCRA plantation. So far we have plundered almost a ton worth of fresh OPF in which we have processed the nasty, spiky bastards into small chunks of biomass fuel. 

With this collaboration, the biomass gasification research in UTP took another big leap into becoming one of the most vital gasification research center in Malaysia particularly and biomass combustion research in general. As we speak, the laboratory has three working units of gasification reactor and I will be designing another one for my PhD study soon, thanks to the newly-acquired ERGS fund worth RM80,000. 

Thanks, Le Supervisor.

Gold pot, really

I happened to meet a few oil palm plantation owners during the hunt for OPF previously and established a mutual working relationship with them. One time we were having coffee at one of the coffee shops ran by a local residence when one of the boys opened up about the oil palm business. You see, each oil palm fruit bunch may be up to 20kg in weight, and an oil palm can produce up to three fruit bunches per harvest time. Harvest time is done twice a month. Per ton of oil palm fruit is worth, on average, RM500. A hectare of land can accommodate 140 trees. 

So, per hectare, the maximum weight of oil palm fruits per harvest is 8,400kg, or 8.4 tons. In money sense, the entire collection is worth RM4,200. Per month, you get a rough income of RM8,400. Holy shit

Upon hearing this, I am now in the effort of getting my first hectare of prime oil palm trees. Ha. 

Serious business is serious.

It's good to spend some valuable time with the local folks at home. Above is the picture taken during breakfast at Taman Melawati (Visiting Park?) with some of the most prominent figures in the local neighborhood political arena -- the man in the maroon baju Melayu is Datuk Haji Mohd. Kassim, UMNO SSLK Leader and the guy in the white shirt is Datuk Hj. Megat Zulkarnain Tan Sri Omardin, the Gombak UMNO Division Youth Leader, and around them are the branch leaders and secretariat members of UMNO Movement of DUN Hulu Klang. 

We dubbed this as the meeting of the Dons, minus the flashy suits, Thompson semi-automatics and a decorative dead body at the back to lift the mood up a little.

Had a good time with Datuk Megat. One heck of a guy he really is. 

Night view of the Sultan Abdul Jalil Bridge

In the pursuit for biomass, I and a colleague went to Kuala Kangsar to obtain some samples of the oil palm planted there. We wanted to hit Taiping next but it was already sunset by the time we arrived at Kuala Kangsar. So we took a stroll around and I snapped this picture of the bridge with my Lumix. Good thing was that the stream was moving fast following a heavy downpour earlier so the reflection of the bridge on the water surface was presented in the most lovely fashion. 

We ended up with a shopping spree for hand weapons. Axes, curved machetes, long machetes, hunting knife, you name it. If we were stopped by the cops somewhere in the middle of the road, we could have been possibly nabbed for 'suspicious activities involving a large collection of horde weapons'.

I LOVE the greens

I am now back to my routine driving range practice following the winning streak I had with Mr Ang, one of the guy I casually meet at Clearwater Golf. Now that the dry season (not that dry, really) has ended, the greens are back to their original color. And nothing beats the smell of wet, green grasses in the morning. 

That is one very odd ball right there

For some certain reasons, I found that my golf shoes shrank a few millimeters. It's either my feet are growing (for some very suspicious reasons) or, more adequately, the shoes shrank because it has really been a while since I last wore it. I need to replace my seasoned and weatherbeaten glove too. I love that Daiwa. It really helped in gripping the iron tightly, not like my previous glove that made me feel as if I was holding a banana in my hand. And I had problem with iron 3 and 5. Perhaps I have to adjust my posture a bit. 

Ahh I think I just broke my back.

One of the best sunset ever seen this year

Last week too I happened to travel to Jugra of Kuala Langat district in the state of Selangor. I did a few research works there while in the same time enjoying my day out. There's this water gate at one of the fishing village in Kelanang where I happened to stop by one evening after catching a glance at the beautiful sunset as depicted in the image above. 

Freaking awesome.

The smell of salt filled the air as I stood on the water gate while gazing at the beautiful sunset. Fishing boats were docked dead at both side of the river and the mangroves stood still that evening. The only thing that spoiled the entire golden experience was a female cow that happened to stand next to me, enjoying the same sunset, while munching on some rough roots in its mouth before taking a quick dump by the water gate later. 

Don't anybody move now

I went Jugra Hill the next day to pay a visit to the Royal Mausoleum of Sultan Abdul Samad at the top of the hill where the tomb of Sultan Abdul Samad, the 4th Sultan of Selangor was located following his death in 1898. Around the mausoleum were graves of the Selangor Royal Family since 1886, and the whole area is 5-acre in size. I have a lot more pictures of this place taken and maybe I'll share them later on. 

The reason I came here was that, well, my mother is from Klang and some of our family members have served in the state palaces since a very long time ago. The relationship of my mother's family with the palace has been well established, hence their love for the sultan. Therefore, it is not surprising at all to know if my dear mother knows the genealogy of the Selangor sultanate and its bloodline, for she is very fond of the sultans since she was only a young girl. When the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah of Selangor passed away in 2001, she cried so much that she drove my father into unforeseen confusion particularly on the subject of whether she would deliver the similar show when he dies soon. It was really peaceful there. I have plans to come over again when I have the time. 

But I have to admit that it was a bit eerie, since the age of the graves were mostly 50 years and older. When I stood next to Raja Muda Musa's tomb, its enormous gravestone pinned me still on the ground because of its...effects. 

The newer graves are erected at the Royal Mausoleum in Klang, and nobody was buried here after so long. 

Kelanang Beach

The best place to spend an evening nicely is always the beach. Well at least for me. This was taken at the Kelanang Beach. The beach was so windy that sometimes you can catch tiny particles of sands on your wet lips. 

Armed with a can of chilled coffee and a pack of Benson & Hedges, and a *cough* delightful company, my evening was perfect. 

Sunset in Morib

The next day I went to Morib beach. I've never been to Morib for almost 20 years now, and I've been there again for the first time after so long, only to see that the place has changed deliberately over the long years. The food was great there. I had a bowl of Hailam fried noodles and a bowl of cold Lai Chi Kang there and I swear I had never been so stuffed. 

The sea there was somewhat a bit aggressive, although not particularly windy. The beach again awed me with its awesome sunset and great clouds, and I had great time with my camera then. If you look closely, you can see some sea vessels at the horizon there. 

One-Week Challenge

Back in UTP, Le Supervisor gave me a quick project that is nearly completed now. As shown by the image above, it's an assembly of a high temperature and high pressure spraying unit. It was designed, procured, fabricated, assembled, tested, commissioned and operated by me for another PhD student who needs the set for his study. Well if it wasn't because of the good pay, I won't be doing this tedious job, really, since I never really have chemistry with fluids. 

But it was a good experience though. The setup above is yet to complete, since the heating coils and the spray nozzles have yet to be installed. The entire setup costed almost RM10,000, many thanks to the prime equipment such at pressure gauges, multi-stage pump, solenoid valve and the heating unit that all have to work at a temperature up to 180 degree Celsius, hence the high cost. 

* * *

By the way, this is what I will be doing next week. 

I will be presenting as author and co-author for four technical papers in the 3rd International Conference of Production, Energy and Reliability (ICPER)2012  in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center on this 12th to 14th of June. My technical session will be on the 13th of June at 8.45am till 10.45am in the morning at Room 306 under the research field of Energy and Fuel Technology as the picture below shows. There are six papers overall and I have written and co-written four of them, which are, in order from top to bottom, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th papers. 

It will be a heavy day for me but soon as I am done with the conference I will be spending my time at the nearby Starbucks of KLCC so if you happen to bump into me there, please say hi and I'll hi back! :D

By the way, to those who left their comments previously on my research particularly on obtaining my research papers for your own research, please kindly drop me your email in the comment section and I will establish contact with you for your next perusals. I have updated the list of my internationally and locally-published academic journals and conference papers, and you can refer to them as the following:

[1] S. A. Sulaiman, F. M. Guangul, R. Elneel, S. M. Atnaw and M. N. Z. Moni, ”Estimation of Moisture Content of Oil Palm Frond Through Correlation with Density,” paper under review, Biomass and Bioenergy, 2012

[2] F. M. Guangul, S. A. Sulaiman, M. N. Z. Moni, S. M. Atnaw and R. E. Konda, “Investigation of the Hygroscopic Property of Oil Palm Fronds for Gasification Process,” paper accepted for presentation, In the 3rd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2012, Kuala Lumpur.

[3] M. N. Z. Moni and S. A. Sulaiman, “Method of Processing Oil Palm Frond Into Biomass Fuel for Downdraft Gasification,” paper accepted for presentation, In the 3rd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2012, Kuala Lumpur.

[4] M. N. Z. Moni and S. A Sulaiman, “Downdraft Gasification of Oil Palm Frond: Effects of Temperature and Operation Time,” paper accepted for presentation, In the 3rd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2012, Kuala Lumpur.

[5] S. A. Sulaiman, M. Karim, M. N. Z. Moni and S. M. Atnaw, “Gasification Study on Different Plant-Based Biomass Materials,” paper accepted for presentation, In the 3rd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2012, Kuala Lumpur.

[6] S. A. Sulaiman, S. M. Atnaw and M. N. Z. Moni, “Experimental Study of Temperature Profile of Fixed-Bed Gasification of Oil Palm Fronds,” Int. Journal of Technology, Vol. 3, pp. 35-44, 2012

[7] S. M. Atnaw, S. A. Sulaiman and M. N. Z. Moni, “Experimental Study on Temperature Profile of Fixed – Bed Gasification of Oil- Palm Fronds,” In 4th International Meeting on Advances in Thermofluids (IMAT), Melaka.

[8] S. A. Sulaiman, S. M. Atnaw and M. N. Z. Moni, ”A Preliminary Study of Oil Palm Fronds for Gasification Process” In Power and Energy Systems (EuroPES 2011), 22-24 June 2011, Crete, Greece.

[9] M. N. Z. Moni and S. A. Sulaiman, “A Preliminary Study on Synthesis Gas Produced by Gasification of Oil Palm Fronds,” In the 2nd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2010, Kuala Lumpur.

[10] S. A. Sulaiman, S. Balamohan, M. N. Z. Moni, S. Mekbib and A. O. Mohamed,  “Study on the Feasibility of Oil Palm-Fronds for Biomass Gasification”, In 5th International Ege Energy Symposium and Exhibition, June 2010, Denizli, Turkey.

[11] M. N. Z. Moni and S. A. Sulaiman, “Development of a Biomass Downdraft Gasifier for Oil Palm Fronds”, In National Postgraduate Conference on Engineering, Science and Technology, March 2009, Tronoh.

* * *

I have so far 11 published works, 7 more still in writing phase and 6 more to be written soon. I aim to publish at least 10 papers or so this year so that I will be able to end this academic year with a minimum of 15 published works, although I would like to push it up to 20.

Well, there's still more works to do in my field of research. It's the golden age of biomass here in Malaysia, and I'd like to be a part of it. I'm currently pursuing the post of Junior Principal Investigator to merge my scientific research and engineering profession into one whole suit of expertise particularly in biomass combustion and alternative solid fuel technology. 

I envision a fully-operating biomass gasification power plant to be installed here in Malaysia to contribute a generous portion of energy into the National Power Grid for the nation's electricity supply sometime in the near future. With the advancing technology and vast understanding of the biomass behavior under extreme temperature from which the gaseous extract of the carbon-rich fibrous material can be collected, I'd certainly believe that my dream will one day come true.

In the mean time, I'd like to contribute what I can to our developing country, and may my works will one day benefit the future generations in making this world not only sustainable but much cleaner that it already is today.

At work

Thanks for reading my long writing. It really has been a while. I wish you all the best and good luck. I'll write again when I have the time, because it's already 3.50am now and I have to make a move up north in an hour time for another plantation visit. 

Till then, best regards.


oDiN said...

Your dell monitor is 22 inch I assume ?

azalia rahman said...

Awesomely awesome!

Neyra Shazeyra said...


Mohamad Nazmi Zaidi said...

Odin: It's actually a 17" Dell Monitor, mate. Just a small, humble one right here.

Azalia: Thanks!

Neyra: :D