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Inclusion of kenaf as bio-material component in sustainable manufacturing in Malaysian automotive industry


Amir Mustafa, Amira Mas Ayu (2019) Inclusion of kenaf as bio-material component in sustainable manufacturing in Malaysian automotive industry. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


Increase in societal demand for sustainability has resulted in attention to sustainable manufacturing. Many manufacturers often focus on the economic component sustainability, neglecting the environmental and social aspects. Natural fiber reinforced polymer composites (NFC) provides a practical alternative to synthetic fiber reinforced composites largely in automotive and building product applications. At the laboratory scale, kenaf fibers reinforced polymer composites (KFC) has been proven that it is technically feasible to be developed as part of automotive bio-material components. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether such potential applications could meet the environmental and economic sustainability measurements. As illustration, the supply chain process of spare wheel cover production was used for this purpose. The first objective of the study describes the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) of utilizing kenaf fiber composites for spare wheel cover production. A cradle to gate assessment was performed based on the ISO 14040/14044 guidelines. The aims are to identify the major hotspots and most significant contributions to environmental pollution. The second objective of the study is to conduct an economic valuation of the consumer preferences from the Klang Valley area on using natural fiber composites in certain components of their car. The double bounded dichotomous- choice contingent valuation method (CVM) could be used for this purpose to solicit the interests of consumers to make extra payments towards reducing the impact to the environment. The third objective is to frame out a financial and economic feasibility assessment of using Kenaf fiber composites in the production of the spare wheel cover. The environmental cost and economic value estimates of the intangible environmental and economic impacts obtained from the previous objectives are incorporated into the cashflows to enable the computation of an economic cost-benefit analysis (CBA). Incorporating the three elements of the above study could shed light as to the environmental and economic sustainable development of Kenaf application into the automotive industry. From the objective 1, between three phases in spare wheel production, the midstream phase has a higher contribution to the environment pollution with the total environmental cost of RM14,326.30 or 63%, followed by upstream phase and downstream phase with the total contribution 19% and 18% respectively. For objective number 2, all the variables in the double-bounded approach are significant at a different level except for GENDER and LENGTHOFUSE which is insignificant in the double-bounded approach and is therefore, eliminated from the model and the mean additional WTP ranges from RM11.51 to RM16.10 has achieved. For last objective, between three phase, only downstream phase was positive where the project is both financially and economically feasible. The positive result is due to the light-weight impact where the society could benefit with fuel saving and the corresponding reduction of CO2 emissions and also the total additional WTP. To implement the project successfully, more effort is required to improve the feasibility of Kenaf fiber production. The challenge is in the low quality of local Kenaf fibers that will affect the quality of the production of automotive components. By overcoming these obstacles, the project will have huge positive impacts on both the sector and society.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject: Energy crops
Subject: Kenaf
Subject: Automobile industry and trade
Call Number: IPTPH 2019 14
Chairman Supervisor: Professor Mohd Shahwahid Haji Othman, PhD
Divisions: Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products
Depositing User: Ms. Nur Faseha Mohd Kadim
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2021 13:17
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2022 07:37
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/84471
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

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