Sarawak has potential to leverage pyrolysis tech to convert biomass into hydrogen, solid carbon

Abang Johari and other distinguished guests listen to Colin as he explains about the electrolysis technology at the SEA-DF in Demak Laut Industrial Park on June 6, 2024. Photo credit: Ukas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 6: Sarawak holds significant potential to leverage the promising pyrolysis technology for converting biomass into hydrogen and solid carbon, aligning with its green energy initiatives.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised the benefits of this technology in producing sustainable hydrogen from natural feedstock, particularly biomass, which is abundant in Sarawak.


Pyrolysis, defined as the thermal decomposition of biomass occurring in the absence of oxygen, offers a promising avenue for green energy production.

“I learned about this innovative technology called pyrolysis during my recent visit to South Korea.

“We (Sarawak) have good amount of rainfall for hydrogen production, while accelerating trees growth which can become the source of our biomass. I think Sarawak can explore this method to foster production of our green products,” he shared when addressing the inauguration of the Sarawak Electrolyser Assembly and Distribution Facility (SEA-DF) at Demak Laut Industrial Park here today.

Futhermore, Abang Johari highlighted the valuable carbon properties within solid carbon, including graphite (a crystalline form of the element carbon) and graphene (material extracted from graphite and made up of pure carbon).

He envisioned Sarawak’s potential in producing synthetic graphite, which is a critical components for batteries, electrodes, and advanced materials.

Encouraging research into these compounds, he urged PETRONAS’ Iban scientist Colin Patrick to investigate their suitability as a membrane for electrolysis processes, potentially reducing power consumption in hydrogen production.

“I am not a scientist, but I am just wondering if this is possible. Graphite is a material. If we can produce it, there is possibility to produce hydrogen at cheaper consumption of power (thus reducing the cost).

“If that is the case, hydrogen will be cheaper and more cars can be powered by hydrogen while Sarawak is the producer of hydrogen in this part of the world,” he said, emphasisng Sarawak’s transition towards a blue and green economy. — DayakDaily