Challenges and potential of palm-based biomass and palm oil mill effluent for the production of sustainable power and value-added products
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© 2018 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. With the increasing volume of global palm oil production, utilization of palm-based biomass is gaining significant attention as there are huge opportunities and potentials to convert the biomass into bioenergy and value-added products. Palm-based biomass which includes empty fruit bunches (EFB), palm kernel shell (PKS), palm mesocarp fiber (PMF), etc. are generated at a rate of about 80 Mt (dry weight basis, dwb) per year in Malaysia. Besides, in the palm oil milling facility, a large amount of liquid effluent known as palm oil mill effluent (POME) is generated during the process of extraction of crude palm oil from fresh fruit bunches. The vast volume of the biomass and liquid effluent, as well as their qualities, poses challenges to palm oil processing facilities to meet the disposal and discharge standards imposed by local authorities. This chapter identifies the challenges and potential of palm-based biomass and POME for the production of sustainable power and value-added products. Two sectors of power generation through biogas and biomass are discussed. In addition, the potential of palm-based biomasses for value-added products generation is also identified. Various treatment technologies have been developed and implemented in palm oil mills over the past decades to treat palm biomass wastes and convert them into bioenergy and value-added products. A novel system - Integrated Waste Recovery and Regeneration (REGEN) system which integrates several treatment technologies as a whole system is capable of converting all the solid and liquid biomasses in the palm oil mill into valuable products. REGEN system is self-sustaining since it generates power to support the operation of the palm oil mill and other downstream activities/equipment embraced in the system. This integrated system is capable of transforming the palm oil industry into a greener industry and drives the palm oil mill into a zero waste processing facility.
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