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A research team in Malaysia is investigating the use of de-oiled bleaching earth (DOBE) in soil stabilisation and concrete production, the New Straits Times reported.

Conducted by a team from the engineering faculty at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) alongside Malaysian oil palm waste recycling company Gamalux Oils, the study would investigate the potential of using DOBE – a by-product of the palm oil production process – in the construction industry, the report said.

As well as reducing the amount of waste in the palm oil production process, the use of DOBE as a material in the construction industry would benefit the environment, Associate Professor Dr Ismail Saad, the dean of UMS, was quoted as saying in the 24 March report.

“However, further research is needed to understand the implications of using DOBE in soil stabilisation and concrete production to ensure that the produced concrete meets the specified standards,” Dr Saad, said in a statement.

The university’s engineering faculty has established a research unit called the Green Material and Advanced Construction Technology Research Unit to focus on research relating to green materials for use in the construction industry, he added.

According to its website, Gamalux Oils recycles oil palm waste to produce feedstocks for the biodiesel sector and other industries.