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[en] Highlights: • An energy resource data for oil palm biomass is generated. • The data encompasses crucial fuel and physicochemical characteristics. • These characteristics guide on biomass behaviors and technology selection. • Oil palm biomass is advantageous in today’s energy competitive markets. • Overall, it is a green alternative for biorefinery establishment. - Abstract: The scarcity of conventional energy such as fossil fuels (which will lead to eventual depletion) and the ever-increasing demand for new energy sources have resulted in the world moving into an era of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency. The Malaysian oil palm industry has been one of the largest contributor of lignocellulosic biomass, with more than 90% of the country’s total biomass deriving from 5.4 million ha of oil palms. Recent concerns on accelerating replanting activity, improving oil extraction rate, expanding mill capacity, etc. are expected to further increase the total oil palm biomass availability in Malaysia. This situation has presented a huge opportunity for the utilization of oil palm biomass in various applications including RE. This paper characterizes the various forms of oil palm biomass for their important fuel and other physicochemical properties, and assesses this resource data in totality – concerning energy potential, the related biomass conversion technologies and possible combustion-related problems. Overall, oil palm biomass possesses huge potential as one of the largest alternative energy sources for commercial exploitation.
[en] The palm oil industry plays an important role in the creation of waste to wealth using the abundant oil palm biomass resources generated from palm oil supply chain i.e. upstream to downstream activities. The oil palm biomass and other palm-derived waste streams available are oil palm trunks (felled), fronds (felled and pruned), shell, mesocarp fibers, empty fruit bunches (EFB), palm oil mill effluent (POME), palm kernel expelled (PKE), palm fatty acid distillates (PFAD), used frying oil (UFO), residual oil from spent bleaching earth (SBE) and glycerol. For 88.5 million tonnes of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) processed in 2008, the amount of oil palm biomass generated was more than 25 million tones (dry weight basis) with the generation of 59 million tonnes of POME from 410 palm oil mills. Oil palm biomass consists of mainly lignocellulose materials that can be potentially and fully utilized for renewable energy, wood-based products and high value-added products such as pytonutrients, phenolics, carotenes and vitamin E. Oil palm biomass can be converted to bio energy with high combustible characteristics such as briquettes, bio-oils, bio-producer gas, boiler fuel, biogas and bio ethanol. Oil palm biomass can also be made into wood-based products such as composite and furniture, pulp and paper and planting medium. The recovery of phenolics from POME as valuable antioxidants has potential drug application. Other possible applications for oil palm biomass include fine chemicals, dietary fibers, animal feed and polymers. There must be a strategic and sustainable resource management to distribute palm oil and palm biomass to maximize the use of the resources so that it can generate revenues, bring benefits to the palm oil industry and meet stringent sustainability requirements in the future. (author)
[en] Full text: The oil palm industry has an abundance of oil palm biomass. The type of biomass generated includes empty fruit bunches (EFB), oil palm trunk (OPT), kernel, shell and fronds. Generally, ligno celluloses biomass derived from oil palm has great potential to be converted into various forms of renewable energy. In this study, EFB in pulverized form was used as a feedstock for bio ethanol production. EFB contains lignin, hemicelluloses and cellulose which can be converted into fermentable sugar and bio ethanol. The EFB was initially pre-treated with 1% NaOH followed by acid hydrolysis with 0.7% sulfuric acid and enzyme prior to fermentation process with Saccharomyces cerevisea. The various process parameters for bio ethanol production was optimized i.e. pH, temperature, rate of agitation and initial feedstock concentration. The fermentation of EFB hydrolysate was at pH 4, 30 degree Celsius and 100 rpm within 72 hours of incubation yielded 10.48 g/L of bio ethanol from 50 g/L of EFB. The bio ethanol production in a 6-L bioreactor showed 36% conversion of fermentable sugar from EFB into bio ethanol. (author)
[en] Full text: Bleaching earth is used in the bleaching process of physical refining of palm oil to remove color, phospholipids, residue gums, oxidized products and any trace metals from the oil. These colored pigments are trapped and absorbed in the bleaching earth, thus transforming the originally whitish earth to dark grey and is, from then, named spent bleaching earth (SBE). SBE is considered as an industrial by-product as there is hardly any practical application for it. Large quantity of SBE is commonly disposed of in landfills, which poses potential hazards to environment. New economical ways in utilizing it is sought to eliminate the problem arises from its disposal. This paper presents a study on the possibility of developing a soil conditioner using enhanced SBE as the base material. The study found that there are certain attributes observed in the enhanced SBE that could be of advantages for SBE to become a good soil conditioner. The enhanced SBE contains organic matters and about 18-20 % of residue oil which exhibits good water holding capacity in slow release of water, and enriched nutrient content for plant nutrient uptake. (author)
[en] The fast pyrolysis of empty fruit bunches (EFB) was carried out using a fluidized-fixed bed reactor. An electric furnace heated the reactor with a heated length of 135 mm and an inner diameter of 40 mm. The sand bed was fluidized using argon at a rate of 0.5 litre per minute (LPM). The sand bed consisted of 100 g zircon sand of 180 - 250 μm. Several process parameters such as the pyrolysis temperature, particle size and different types of pre-treatment that can affect the yield of the pyrolysis products were investigated. The experiment of fast pyrolysis was conducted using 2 - 4 g of EFB which was fed into the reactor using argon at a rate of 2.5 LPM. The temperature used was in the range of 400-600 degree Celsius and particle size of EFB was < 90 - 150 μm. Three types of pre-treatment were performed i.e. washing EFB with H2SO4, NaOH and distilled water. The results indicated that the optimum yield of bio-oils was obtained using unwashed EFB having particle size of 91-106 μm at pyrolyzed temperature of 500 degree Celsius. The maximum yield of bio-char was obtained using washed EFB with NaOH at temperature of 600 degree Celsius and particle size of 106-125 μm. (author)
[en] Lignocelluloses complexity has led to poor dissolution efficiency in solvents. This study was conducted to concentrate hemicellulose content in oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) using green solvent, choline chloride (ChCl)-based deep eutectic solvent (DES). Results showed that ChCl: formic acid (FA) is the most effective among the DES in concentrating hemicellulose content in treated EFB and exhibits the highest dissolution power of lignin. The toxicity test showed that all the synthesized DES had negligible effect against Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Nevertheless, all of them possessed comparable cell proliferation to their individual counterparts, ChCl, glycerol, lactic acid (LA) and FA, which implied that these DES could be used in the intended industries.
[en] Highlights: • Extraction of pyrolysis oil from palm kernel shell was performed using sc-CO2. • Effect of temperature, pressure and CO2 flowrate on extract yield was studied. • The maximum bio-oil extract yield obtained was 27.63%. • Acids and esters were significantly enriched in the extract. - Abstract: The extraction of bio-oil produced from pyrolysis of palm kernel shell (PKS) using supercritical carbon dioxide (sc-CO2) was systematically studied using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and optimized. Three parameters which included temperature (40-60 °C), pressure (20-35 MPa) and CO2 flowrate (3-8 cm3 min−1) were optimized for maximum extraction yield. The predicted optimum extraction condition at 48.0 °C, 28.2 MPa, 8.0 cm3 min−1 CO2 flowrate for maximum predicted extract yield of 30.03 (±2.65)% was validated with experimental extract yield of 27.63 (±1.00)%. The regression model developed provided accurate predictions of the extract yield, with coefficient of determination R2 of 0.9501. The bio-oil extract obtained was then characterized by GC/MS, proximate, and ultimate analyses and compared with the raw bio-oil. Acids and esters were found to be enriched in the supercritical extract, while other classes of chemical compounds such as phenolics, aromatics, ketones and nitrogen compounds were also detected in the bio-oil extract. The interactive effects of process parameters on the extraction efficiency of sc-CO2 and the quality of bio-oil extract obtained were presented and discussed.
[en] Highlights: • High quality solid fuel can be obtained from oil palm solid wastes via torrefaction. • Temperature range of 200–250 °C was found to be suitable for torrefied oil palm solid wastes production. • The OPF was found to be the best feedstock for torrefaction. • The torrefaction plant is feasible to build up in the palm oil mills. - Abstract: Palm oil industry is recognized as one of the major agriculture contributions to the abundant production of oil palm solid wastes. These include empty fruit bunches, palm kernel shell, mesocarp fiber, oil palm frond, and oil palm trunk, which were obtained from plantation and milling activities. In terms of increasing the economic value and solving environmental problems, the use of these wastes as an alternative fuel is very important. However, the properties of oil palm solid wastes, i.e. low calorific value, high moisture content, hygroscopic nature, and high oxygen content, have limited the biomass usage as fuel. This review evaluates on the use of torrefaction technology to improve the fuel characteristics of these wastes. Several viewpoints concerning current research on the torrefaction of oil palm solid wastes, characterization of the raw material, properties and potential applications of the torrefied yield were provided. In addition, the potential development of the torrefaction process for the palm oil industry was also discussed.
[en] Highlights: • Extraction of bio-oil at various conditions was studied using sc-CO2. • Effect of temperature and pressure on solubility of bio-oil and phenol was studied. • Higher temperature and pressure resulted in higher bio-oil and phenol solubilities. • Solubility data of phenol was modeled by Chrastil, Adachi & Lu and Bartle models. • AARD and R2 of the correlations were found to be 0.9510, respectively. - Abstract: The extraction and recovery of value-added chemical compounds, such as phenolic compounds present in bio-oil has been a vital subject of study recently. In this work, the extraction of bio-oil using supercritical carbon dioxide (sc-CO2) with particular interest in apparent solubility of phenol (a major chemical compound in pyrolysis oil) was evaluated at various temperatures (50, 60 and 70 °C) and pressures (30, 35 and 40 MPa). Highest extraction yield of bio-oil was obtained at 70 °C and 40 MPa. The phenol content in the extracted bio-oils were also studied and reported. As a preliminary study, the apparent solubility data of phenol in sc-CO2 was successfully modeled using the values from the correlation of Chrastil, Adachi & Lu and Bartle models. The model parameters for these equations were determined and reported in this work. It was found that Chrastil, Adachi & Lu and Bartle models produced satisfactory correlations on the solubility of phenol in sc-CO2, with AARD values of 1.51%, 6.52% and 1.85%, respectively.