Dr Muhammad Saifullah Abu Bakar


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Integrated Technologies and Director, Office of AVC (Academic Affairs)


Dr Muhammad Saifullah bin Abu Bakar 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 the ability to work in a multidisciplinary setting. He has joined the Faculty of Integrated Technologies in Universiti Brunei Darussalam as a Lecturer, working on Chemical Engineering and System Engineering modules.

Currently, he is the main supervisor for 1 PhD student and co-supervisor for 2 Master's and 3 PhD students.

Under his supervision, 1 PhD student (Ashfaq Ahmed, PhD in Chemical Engineering) and 3 Masters student (Syarif Hidayat, Mujahid Ibrahim, Farah Izzan Jefri; M.Eng Chemical Engineering) has successfully graduated.

Under his co-supervision, 3 PhD students and 2 Master's students have successfully graduated.


Renewable Energies;
Biomass, Biofuel and Bioenergy Technologies;
Catalytic Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass - Pyrolysis, Gasification, Combustion;
Biochar characterisation and applications (e.g. agriculture, catalysis)
Solar Thermal to Energy
IoT applications using sensors for gases and chemicals; agriculture; algae cultivation


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 a petroleum refinery, but instead it uses biomass as its feedstock and has the potential to diversify the economy away from oil and gas. Biorefining is considered as one of the key enabling strategies of the Circular Economy. 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 determine whether the material is suitable for conversion. The generated biomass products must also undergo characterisation to assess their viability towards potential usage in various industrial applications such as energy (biofuels), agriculture (biochar) and bio-based chemicals. This particular research area is vast, and processes may include a combination of: i) Feedstock pre-treatment; ii) Thermochemical processes such as pyrolysis, gasification and combustion; iii) The incorporation of catalysts such as zeolites, metal-oxides or natural minerals into the processes; iv) Potential separation of selected chemicals/gases

Applications Invited

Design and optimisation of a novel biomass catalytic screw reactor

This project aims to design and improve the biomass pyrolysis system, particularly the reactor and feeding unit. Students are required to review the existing system in laboratories, pilot plants and industries, particularly on biomass conversion systems; compare and make several design concepts to suit the requirement. A simple prototype is expected to be incorporated into our existing pyrolysis/gasification system unit. Knowledge of CAD software such as Solidworks is essential.

Applications Invited

Scopus Publications


Google Scholar Citations


Google Scholar h-index


Google Scholar i10-index

Scopus Publications


Ashfaq Ahmed, Muhammad S. Abu Bakar, Abul K. Azad, Rahayu S. Sukri, Neeranuch Phusunti, (2018) Intermediate pyrolysis of Acacia cincinnata and Acacia holosericea species for bio-oil and biochar production, Energy Conversion and Management, 176, pp. 393-408, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2018.09.041
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.


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


Grant Type: CREATES, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/MTIC-CREATES/005, Project Title: Propagation, Characterisation and Effect of Different Parameters on Growth, Yield and Fruit Quality of Chilli and Tomato Varieties. Role: PI, Start Date: 16/01/2023 - End Date: 15/01/2025

Grant Type: FRG, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/1.3/FICBF(b)/2019/004, Project Title: Catalytic Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass via Pyrolysis for Production of Biochar, Bio-oil and Syngas. Role: PI, Start date: 01/09/2019 - End date: 31/08/2023

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

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)