My Postgraduate Topics


Abstract/Executive Summary

The amount of solid wastes generated on University campuses has seen an increasing trend, and options to capitalize on different types of wastes as an asset that can both generate income and introduce savings in expenditure needs looking at. A shift from treating wastes as non-productive can also lead to a change in how people on campus view waste management and encourage the adoption of a greener lifestyle. In addition, by strategically introducing policies and regulatory measures that influence consumption and procurement patterns, the University can help contribute towards meeting the aspirations outlined in the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The case study of the four Universities, i.e. UTM, UKM, UPM, and UM can help shed light on the options towards the adoption of measures to put in effect a Zero Waste Policy and its supporting instruments to ensure effective implementation. The focus group would be the University top management, and the subject matter of study; the existing systems in place that govern University waste management. The four Universities, i.e. the selected campuses of study, will be treated as living labs, and apart from the current governance practice in place, the waste management cycle, as well as the types, volumes, categories, and characteristics of wastes generated will be looked at. This includes focusing on addressing the goal of zero organic wastes to landfill and turning waste into a source for University income generation and cost savings, as well a source to spur research and innovation within the campus, providing options for the advancement of postgraduate research, and perhaps entrepreneurship. Attitudes and behaviors, particularly towards migrating from the present practice and understanding of waste management, towards a sustainable waste management approach and greener lifestyle, i.e. the acceptance of new norms, will also be explored.


Abstract/Executive Summary

Understanding outdoor thermal comfort is essential for urban development in the tropical climate. Environmental heat exposure is a serious health hazard that is responsible for heat illness and mortality. In Malaysia, heat-related illnesses been categorized as a medical emergency which may lead to mortality as high as 70% in cases of heatstroke in Malaysia. However, if the treatment is started without delay, survival rates can approach 100%. High-risk groups such as the elderly, athletes, individuals with health problems, and the urban poor are particularly susceptible to extreme heat events. Extreme heat may affect human physiological parameters such as body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse rate and these physiological changes could result in dehydration, heat rashes, heat exhaustion, heat injury and worst of all heat stroke. Hence preventive measures and management procedures are vital in mitigating heat-related illness. This study aims to analyze heat impacts from the surrounding environment that affects human physiological parameters, and further formulate a tropical thermal comfort index for assessment of heat-illness. Highly risk group of people athletes and elderly will be subjected to physiological analysis such as heart rate, pulse, body temperature in the outdoor environment that mimics the urban heat island effect. Next, a subjective measurement using questionnaire surveys towards such groups to determine the human thermal responses in existing environmental conditions will be analyzed via various terms of acceptability and thermal perception. Finally, the relationship between thermal perception will be correlated to determine the degree of thermal stress they experience and identify a suitable thermal index based on the different types of built-up environments. This fundamental study will allow a better understanding of the person with health problems about the safe range of thermal comfort by finding out the most comfortable environment conditions and useful for an early warning system in tropical climates.


Abstract/Executive Summary

The banana tree is an interesting tree in which all parts of the banana tree have their own uses. However, in this study, the banana pseudostem is determined and becomes a great concern since nowadays, it leaves at the field and rot. This banana pseudostem are also chosen because of it cellulose content compared to other commercial vegetable plants are much higher.  The ideas are to extract the cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) from pseudostem that can become a compromising material that can be used as a replacement to existing chemical admixture for cement composites into something more natural based. This research discusses the usage of nano cellulosic components of the banana tree reacts as strengthening agent admixture of cement composites. This study will be conducted in order to accommodate more sustainable materials that starts to form the production of the CNC until it becomes an admixture to the cement composites that can improve the performance of the cement composites. This product is tested on its strength, deformation behavior, durability, thermal properties, and soundness. All tests are conducted by following the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) standard and British Standard (BS).


Abstract/Executive Summary

Malaysia is currently under the obligation of fulfilling the Montreal Protocol hence the government of Malaysia has designed and execute many policies in order to phase-out chlorofluorocarbon. The first plan that has been executed is the ‘National FC Country Program’ that has begun from 1992 till 2001. This program is then succeeded with the ‘National ‘CFC Phase-out Plan’ from 2002 till 2010. From 2011 till 2016, the Government has launched the ‘National HCFC Phase-out Plan’ to remove HCFC from the market. The research is aligned with the current policy as it will investigate the current status of Malaysia’s usage on HCFC and determine the acceptance of the new substance towards the local manufacturers and markets. They will act as an aid towards government effort to gradually phase out HCFC and will provide the relevant information needed towards this policy and future efforts. The scope of this research is limited to the process of handling FCs among stakeholders in Malaysia. This narrows down towards selected premises that would undergo the process of recycling, reclaim or destruction. Nevertheless, not all premises would carry out proper handling as it is not the common practice in Malaysia and the regulation in Malaysia is limited towards the import and export of FCs materials. The research would also include the National Phase-Out Programmed.


Abstract/Executive Summary

In Malaysia, paddy field and palm oil plantation had produced a lot of waste annually. Alternative methods of utilizing these agricultural wastes are needed to mitigate the environmental pollution associated with the current disposal method, such as open-field burning. Since both contain high protein and carbohydrates which is very suitable for mushroom production and animal feedstock such as a cow. The conventional method in Malaysia had used sawdust as a mushroom substrate and not suitable for animal feedstock. This project focused on turning waste to wealth projects by using EFB and rice straw for mushroom cultivation. Usually, sawdust is used for mushroom cultivation but this project will use the agricultural waste from oil mill and paddy which are from local materials and might give major benefits to society by producing an organic mushroom that has high protein and may reduced pollution to the environment. Hence, the waste from mushroom cultivation can be animal feedstock such as cows. It is an international industrial collaboration made between Kagoshima National College of Technology, Japan and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, mainly from the Institute of Environment and Water Resources Management (IPASA), Institute of Bioproduct Development (IBD) and Organic Mushroom SDN. BHD. Therefore, this research aimed to develop such a pilot study on a feed conversion ratio of different livestock using the mushroom beds as the feedstock. This study involves technology and knowledge transfer on the development of mushroom bed composition employing palm oil mill effluent and paddy straw which caters to different types of agricultural livestock in Malaysia. The success of this research can be commercialized locally to build an environmentally sustainable nation in the year 2020



Abstract/Executive Summary

The accumulation of a tremendous amount of waste sludge from many industries in landfills has become a serious threat to the environment. Sludge contains considerable amounts of valuable compounds such as titanium dioxide and chromium(III) oxide. In this study, sludge produced from the wastewater treatment plant and tiles industry is recycled using an eco-friendly extraction process. This study has significant potential towards lowering the cost of waste disposal, protect the environment and yield economically useful by-product. TiO2 is an attractive material due to its chemical stability and non-toxic properties. The extracted compounds such as TiO2 and chromium(III) oxide will be used as pigmentation in the paint. In this study, heat reflective and antifungal 2-in-paint will be developed using compounds extracted from sludge. Many tropical countries facing problems of uncontrollable growth of fungi over the building walls. This study will figure out the effect of photocatalytic activity of 2-in-paint as antifungal and infrared-reflective which contributes solutions to the heat island phenomenon. The extracted TiO2 and Cr2O3 are mixed into the chosen commercial paint and applied onto surface material. Data are taken from the conducted experiment. Heat reflective paint is classified into bright and dark colors. Solar intensity for each color is measured using the data logger and the reading is compared with an infrared thermometer which will give a more accurate value.

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