Dr Muhammad Saifullah Abu Bakar


Lecturer, Faculty of Integrated Technologies



Dr Muhammad Saifullah bin Abu Bakar has obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Aston University in Birmingham, United Kingdom in 2014 with the thesis titled "Catalytic Intermediate Pyrolysis of Brunei Rice Husk for Bio-Oil Production". He graduated with a B.Eng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering in 2008, and an M.Sc in Chemical Process Technology with Polymer Processing in 2009 also from Aston University. Completed research projects include reactor design for the oxidative dehydrogenation of butenes to 1,3-butadiene, and power generation from sewage sludge via combustion or pyrolysis/gasification. His broad knowledge within the main disciplines in Chemical Engineering and current research studies affords him to work in a multidisciplinary setting. He has recently joined the Faculty of Integrated Technologies in Universiti Brunei Darussalam as a Lecturer where he is working on Chemical Engineering and System Engineering modules.

As of now, he has published 9 peer-reviewed papers and presented 2 conference papers. Currently he is the main supervisor for 1 PhD student and 2 Masters students under M.Eng Chemical Engineering (by research).


Renewable Energies;
Biomass, Biofuel and Bioenergy Technologies;
Catalytic Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass - Pyrolysis, Gasification, Combustion;
Solar Thermal to Energy


Biorefinery concept: Valorisation of biomass and wastes to value-added products and energy

Brunei has the potential to generate value-added products, chemicals, fuels and energy from biomass or wastes from industries via biomass conversion processes such as gasification and pyrolysis. The concept of biorefinery is the integration of processes which is comparable to petroleum refinery, but instead it uses biomass as its feedstock and has the potential to diversify the economy away from oil and gas. Rice husk, rice straw, grasses, invasive species (eg: Acacia) and microalgae/macroalgae species are a few of many potential candidates of biomass feedstock. However, the selection of biomass feedstock and their characterisation is an essential pre-requisite step to find out whether the material is suitable for conversion. The generated biomass products have to also undergo characterisation to assess their viability towards potential usage in various industrial applications such as energy (biofuels), agriculture and bio-based chemicals. Processes may include a combination of: feedstock pre-treatment; thermochemical processes such as pyrolysis, gasification and combustion; and the addition of catalyst such as zeolites, metal-oxides or natural minerals.

Applications Invited

Design and optimisation of a novel biomass catalytic screw reactor

The objective of this project is to design and improve the biomass pyrolysis system, particularly the reactor and feeding unit. Students are required to review the existing system in laboratory, pilot plants and industries, particularly on biomass conversion systems; compare and make several design concepts to suit the requirement. A simple prototype is expected which shall be incorporated onto our existing pyrolysis/gasification system unit. Knowledge on CAD software such as Solidwork is essential.

Applications Invited

Scopus Publications


Google Scholar Citations


Google Scholar h-index


Google Scholar i10-index

Scopus Publications


Syarif Hidayat, Muhammad S. Abu Bakar, Yang Yang, Neeranuch Phusunti, A.V. Bridgwater, (2018) Characterisation and Py-GC/MS analysis of Imperata Cylindrica as potential biomass for bio-oil production in Brunei Darussalam, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaap.2018.07.018
Ashfaq Ahmed, Syarif Hidayat, Muhammad S. Abu Bakar, Abul K. Azad, Rahayu S. Sukri & Neeranuch Phusunti (2018) Thermochemical characterisation of Acacia auriculiformis tree parts via proximate, ultimate, TGA, DTG, calorific value and FTIR spectroscopy analyses to evaluate their potential as a biofuel resource, Biofuels, https://doi.org/10.1080/17597269.2018.1442663
Ashfaq Ahmed, Muhammad S. Abu Bakar, Abul K. Azad, Rahayu S. Sukri, Teuku Meurah Indra Mahlia, Potential thermochemical conversion of bioenergy from Acacia species in Brunei Darussalam: A review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Available online 14 November 2017, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2017.10.032
M. Hanif, T.M.I. Mahlia, H.B. Aditya, M.S. Abu Bakar, Energy and environmental assessments of bioethanol production from Sri Kanji 1 cassava in Malaysia. Biofuel Research Journal, 4 (2017) p. 537-544.
H. Q. Hj Hairul Absah, M. S. Abu Bakar, J. Hj Zaini, A. Azad and L. C. Ming, Bi2O3 and La10Si6O27 composite electrolyte for enhanced performance in solid oxide fuel cells, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 121 (2016) 012020.


M.S. Abu Bakar, J.O. Titiloye. Catalytic pyrolysis of rice husks for bio-oil production. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 103 (2013), p. 362-368.
J.O. Titiloye, M.S. Abu Bakar, T.E. Odetoye. Thermochemical characterisation of Agricultural Wastes from West Africa. Industrial Crops and Products, 47 (2013), p. 199-203
T.E. Odetoye, K.R. Onifade, M.S. Abu Bakar, J.O. Titiloye. Thermochemical characterisation of Parinari polyandra Benth fruit shell. Industrial Crops and Products, 44 (2013), p. 62-66
T.E. Odetoye, K.R. Onifade, M.S. Abu Bakar, J.O. Titiloye. Pyrolysis of Parinari polyandra Benth fruit shell for bio-oil production, Biofuel Research Journal, 3 (2014), p. 85-90
Ashfaq Ahmed, Muhammad S. Abu Bakar, Abul K. Azad, Rahayu S. Sukri, Teuku Meurah Indra Mahlia, Potential thermochemical conversion of bioenergy from Acacia species in Brunei Darussalam: A review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Available online 14 November 2017, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2017.10.03


1. Grant type: CRG, Grant Number: UBD/OVACRI/CRGWG(006)/161201, Project Title: Integrated Solid Oxide Fuel Cell - Biomass System for Electricity and Water Purification, Role: Co-PI, Start Date: 01/12/2016, End Date: 30/11/2019

2. Grant type: BRC, Grant Number: UBD/BRC/11, Project Title: A multifaceted investigation of the spread of exotic Acacia species into native habitats within Brunei Darussalam: Understanding the causes of, and management stategies for, these invasive species, PI: Dr Rahayu Sukmaria Sukri. Role: Researcher.

Industry, Institute, or Organisation Collaboration

Research collaboration with Aston University (United Kingdom), Prince of Songkla University (Thailand)