Oil Palm Plantations A Plausible Renewable Source of Energy

K.O Lim


The paper begins by outlining the cultivation of oil palm trees in Malaysia. This is followed by a section that briefly discusses the products and practices of the oil palm plantations as well as the processes that occur in palm oil mills. The yield of the above ground production of lignocellulosic biomass is then estimated. A value of approximately 20 336 kg per 10 000 m2 per year was estimated. If these biomass were to be used for energy purposes, they would be equivalent to 62.45 boe per 10 000 m2 per year. Of these 16.01 boe are currently being used by the oil palm mills in their oil extraction processes. The energy potential of liquid wastes arising from the above processes is estimated, as these wastes can be used for the production of biogas. The environmental benefits arising from this practice are also briefly mentioned. Currently the oil produced is used for a variety of purposes. However if the oil were to be used for energy purposes then 10 000 m2 will produce 25 boe per year. Attempts to use the oil as a motor fuel are then briefly described. The final section of the paper is devoted to a discussion of oil palm trees as an energy crop vis-à-vis the fossil fuel reserves in the country.

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