UTILIZATION OF OIL PALM EMPTY FRUIT BUNCHES AS ‘SOLID MATERIALS’

TANAKA, Ryohei
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan

MORI, Yutaka and KOSUGI, Akihiko
Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences

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OIL PALM

fruit bunch

frond trunk

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Oil palm harvested area
2002 x 1,000 ha Malaysia Indonesia Thailand Philippines China Asia Total 3,375 2,790 263 16 47 6,491
(57.5% of world total)

2005 % in Asia 52.0 43.0 4.1 0.2 0.7 100.0 x 1,000 ha 3,620 3,600 315 17 47 7,599
(60.3% of world total)

% in Asia 47.6 47.4 4.1 0.2 0.6 100.0
(FAO data)

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Production of fresh fruit bunches (FFB)
2002 Malaysia Indonesia Thailand Philippines China Asia Total 59,546 46,800 4,001 212 660 111,219
(81.8% of world total)

2005 53.5 42.1 3.6 0.2 0.6 100.0 75,650 64,255 5,250 233 675 146,063
(84.2% of world total)

x 1,000 tonnes % in Asia x 1,000 tonnes % in Asia 51.8 44.0 3.6 0.2 0.5 100.0
(FAO data)

Palm oil production (x 1,000 tonnes, 2003)
Malaysia Indonesia Thailand 13,354 10,200 620

Crude palm oil = 20% of FFB
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OIL PALM LIGNOCELLULOSIC BIOMASS

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Empty fruit bunches (EFB)

Frond (OPF)
Pruned when collecting the fruit bunches; the stalk part contains carbohydrates as well as lignocellulose

Trunk (OPT)
Discarded for replantation after 25~30 years of the oil production; it consists of vascular bundles and parenchyma Kernel shells Fruit fibres

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Empty fruit bunches (EFB)

50 cm

-Regularly collected and discharged at palm oil mills. -Left after removal of the fruits. -Consist of cellulose + hemicellulose 70%; lignin 17%; ash 1%. -Partially utilized for mulching and for raw material of fertilizers. But still most part of them are not properly utilized. -Used to be burnt at the mills, but now the burning is almost banned. -Many of them are returned to plantation sites as composts.
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Jugra Palm Oil Mill (Selangor)

Suksomboon Palm Oil Co., Ltd. (Chonburi)

Adolina Palm Oil Mill (Medan) TSH Resources (Tawau)

Palm oil mills and plantations visited under the ASEAN Biomass Project (2004~2006)
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Estimated amount of empty fruit bunches (EFB) in 2005
x 1,000 tonnes (dry weight)* Malaysia Indonesia Thailand Philippines China Asia Total World Total 5,296 4,498 368 16 47 10,224 12,137
defibrized

*Calculated assuming 7% of FFB is EFB dry weight

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Unused or Underutilized Woody Biomass

How to use them?

ENERGY RESOURCES
High demand Renewable energy

‘SOLID’ MATERIALS - Natural polymers - Their physical structures should be fully utilized.

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RESEARCH STUDIES ON EFB

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TOTALLY CHLORINEFREE (TCF) BLEACHING OF EFB CHEMICAL PULP

Kraft pulping Soda-AQ pulping TCF bleaching by O2, O3 and H2O2

TCF-bleached pulp

EFB paper
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Summary EFB chemical pulp can be bleached by a chlorine-free process to obtain brightness of 75~80% with paper quality comparable to hardwood KP. Totally chlorine-free (TCF) bleaching method can be applied to EFB chemical pulps and that EFB is suitable as a raw material of chemical pulp. The world trend in pulp bleaching is toward the reduction of chlorine-related compounds because of environmental concern. Once the oil palm by-product becomes a raw material for pulp production in industrial scale, it must be essential to develop environmentally friendly bleaching processes in future.
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Economic impacts in palm oil-producing countries
Assuming…… Pulp yield: 40% (40% of EFB dry weight can be used as pulp for papermaking) In Malaysia, EFB 5.3 million t/yr 2.1 million t/yr of paper & paper boards production Current situation of paper & paper boards Domestic demand = 1.8 million t/yr, 60% imported

Assuming……Price of the pulp: US$ 0.42 / kg Creation of new industries for pulp & paper US$ 882 million (In Asia: US$ 1.7 billion; In the world: US$ 2 billion)

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RECENT SITUATION OF OIL PALM BIOMASS

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Malaysia Awareness of importance of the sustainability in palm oil industry

Total Utilization System of Oil Palm Biomass

PO Mill EFB Power Generation Plant EFB POME* Biogas***

Pulp & Paper Mill**
*Palm oil mill effluent **The commercial production is expected to commence in 2007. ***Completion of this biogas power plant is expected to be in 2007.
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Power generation plant -Raw materials: Oil palm wastes (EFB, shells, fibers) -Material supply: 1,000 ton/day (wet base) -Steam: 55% for power generator, 45% for heat at the mill -Turbine: 14,000kW -Output of the generator: 4,000kW

TSH Kunak (Tawau) in Sabah

Pulp and paper mill (plan) -Raw material: EFB -Pulp production 30,000 ton/year -Pulping method: Soda -Products: -Pulp – Unbleached chemical pulp -Paper – Wrapping paper, etc

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Indonesia -World No.2 in palm oil production, possibly No.1 in near future -Limited usage of oil palm biomass -EFB for energy resources by mixing with low-grade coal (co-fueling)

Thailand -Plan of the production of biodiesel fuel (BDF) from palm oil -Planning to increase the plantation area to 15 times until 2012 -Expecting BDF to cover 10% of the consumption of light oil fuel -To minimize the cost of import of petroleum -To bring stable income for farmers

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION

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