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BIODIESEL AND RENEWABLE ENERGY

FROM OIL PALM

Datuk Dr. Choo Yuen May


Director-General
MPOB

POTS Korea
12 – 13 April 2011
Abundance of Oil Palm
Biomass
Crude Palm Oil Biofuel /
Biodiesel

OIL PALM FRONDS

FRESH FRUIT BUNCH


Palm Biomass Fuel for CHP

10% oil OIL PALM TRUNK Biogas


90% biomass Palm oil mill
effluent (POME)
Introduction on Biodiesel
 Driving forces for biofuels development
worldwide:

 Environmental concerns – climate change


 Energy security – depletion of fossil fuel
 Support for agriculture – major income to the country
 Fluctuation of CPO prices – price stabilisation
mechanism

 US and EU being the major countries that have


aggressively produced and used biodiesel.
 Research on palm biodiesel in Malaysia started
in 1980s.
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Potential Benefit of Palm Biodiesel

 Support floor price of palm oil


 Increase in palm oil export value.
 Value addition from palm oil to biodiesel.
 Savings in foreign exchange.
 Multiplier effects.
 Reduction in pollutants (SO2, CO, particulate
matter, etc) and GHG emissions.

4
Malaysian Biodiesel Industry
 National Biofuel Policy was launched in March 2006
to provide policy framework to develop biofuels
industry in Malaysia
 Biofuels Industry Act 2007 passed for regulation,
licensing and enforcement.
 Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities
responsible for issuance of biodiesel licenses and
regulations.
 61 licenses for biodiesel plants with total production
capacity of 6.79 million tonnes per year.
 Current installed capacity: 2.8 million tonnes in 2010

5
NATIONAL B5 PROGRAMME

• To be implemented beginning 1
June 2011 in Central Region, to
be fully implemented in Central
Region (Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur,
Selangor, Negeri Sembilan,
Melaka) by November 2011.
• Building of Blending Facilities in
progress RM55 million allocated
for 6 petroleum terminals.
• Will take up 200,000 tonnes palm
methyl ester.
• MPOB involved in planning,
implementation, monitoring
and providing technical support.
MPOB PALM
BIODIESEL TECHNOLOGIES:

Development Stage, Present and Future

7
Development of
MPOB Palm Biodiesel Programme
 Lab scale R&D – 1982
 Pilot plant built and
commissioned – 1985
 Produces palm biodiesel for
engine testing and market
seeding
 Preliminary Field Trial
(July 1984 – May 1985) : 8 taxis
 Exhaustive Field Trial (Phase I):
1986- 1989 : 31 diesel engines
of different makes
 Exhaustive Field Trial (Phase II):
1990 – 1994: 36 buses
 Fully established as diesel MPOB Palm Biodiesel Pilot Plant
substitute in 1995
8
MPOB Palm Biodiesel Process

Palm
Biodiesel
Crude Palm
Oil (CPO) Esterification

Drying

Catalyst Methanol
Methanol-
Recovery Water
Ester Washing
Phase
RBD Palm
Oil / RBD
Transesterification Phase
Separation
* Adsorbent
Treatment
Olein
Methanol-
Recovery Glycerol
Glycerol Treatment
To replace with other Phase
potential green processes
Crude 9
Glycerol
Feedstock for Biodiesel Production
 Crude palm oil, crude
palm olein and crude
palm stearin
 Refined, bleached and
deodorized (RBD) palm oil,
RBD palm olein and RBD palm stearin
 Used frying oil
 Residual oil from spent
bleaching earth
 Fatty acid distillate
10
Palm Biodiesel (Methyl Esters)

Crude / Distilled Palm RBD Palm Oil RBD Palm Olein


Oil Methyl Esters Methyl Esters Methyl Esters

Winter Grade
Palm Biodiesel
(CFPP -21°C)

11
Seasonal Pour Point Requirement of Biodiesel

Season Pour Point


( C)
Spring -10
Summer Autumn
Summer 0

Autumn -10
Spring Winter
Winter -20
PALM BIODIESEL PLANTS (M’sia)

MPOB-Carotino, Pasir Gudang, MPOB-Sime Darby, Carey Island,


Johor Selangor

MPOB-FIMA, North Port, Selangor


PALM BIODIESEL PLANTS (Overseas)
ENERTECH BIODIESEL
PLANT, SOUTH KOREA
(2006/07)

NEW BIODIESEL CO. LTD.,


THAILAND (2008/09)
Opportunity in
Palm Biodiesel Production:

Co-Products Recovery
(3) Production of Value-Added Products from
Palm Biodiesel
 For every 1 tonne of methyl esters
burnt as fuel, we also burn away:

– 0.6 kg Carotenoids
– 0.8 kg Vitamin E HO
R1

– 0.5 kg Phytosterols R2
R3
O

– 0.4 kg Squalene
– 0.05 kg Coenzyme Q H3C O
O
H
n

– 0.06 kg Phospholipids H3C O


O

~US 970/tonne (RM 3,200/tonne)


MPOB Palm Phytonutrients Technology
(partially adopted by Carotino Sdn. Bhd.)

CPO Esterification

NPO Transesterification

Crude Methyl Esters

Fractional distillation Integrated Process

• C16:0 – a-SME, biodiesel • Distilled methyl esters


• C18 mixed – low pour point biodiesel • High purity phytonutrients
• Vitamin E, sterols and squalene e.g. Carotenes >30%
Vitamin E >70%
Squalene >70%
Sterols >95%
• Individual components
e.g. b-sitosterol >95%
Vitamin E isomers >95%
Individual carotene >95%
MPOB Integrated Phytonutrients Production Pilot Plants

Dry and Solvent Fractionation SC-CO2 Chromatography

Short Path Distillation


Reaction SC-CO2 Extraction
Products from the Integrated Process
for the Production of Palm Phytonutrients

 Tocols (up to 95% concentration)


 Carotenes (up to 95% concentration)
 Coenzyme Q (0.3% concentration)
- concentrated by 300 folds
 Sterols (up to 95% concentration)
 Squalene (up to 50% concentration)
 Phospholipids (0.1% concentration)
BIOENERGY FROM NON-OIL BIOMASS
Availability & Properties of
Various Oil Palm Biomass
Palm Shell

Sample Quantity, mil. Moisture Calorific Value CV, Range


tonnes Content, % (CV), Average (MJ/kg)
(wet basis) (MJ/kg)
Oil palm Biomass
EFB 19.71 66 - 69 18.88 18.00 - 19.92
Mesocarp fibre 11.14 35 - 48 19.06 18.80 - 19.58
Mesocarp Fibre
Shell 5.14 11 - 13 20.09 19.50 - 20.75
Oil palm frond (replanting 21.6 62 - 77 15.72 15.40 - 15.95
& pruning)
Oil palm trunk (replanting) 33.6 67 - 81 17.47 17.00 - 17.80
POME 55.71 (1624 m3) 90 - 95 16.99 16.10 - 17.65

Other Commercial Fuels (MJ/kg) Other Commercial Fuels (MJ/m3)


Palm Oil Mill Effluent
Bagasse, 19.4 Natural Gas 37.9
Cereal Straw 17.3
Illinois bituminuous, 28.3 LPG 93 - 124
Coal (Anthracite) 27.0
North Dakota lignite, 14.0
Coal (lignite) 15.0
Reed Sedge peat 2.8

Empty Fruit Bunch


Renewable Energy (RE)
Development for Oil Palm
Industry

Untapped Potential of Oil Palm Biomass


(EFB, shell, mesocarp fibre):
• As fuel for combined heat and power
(CHP)/power generation
• For conversion to transportable 1st
generation biofuels.
• For conversion to 2nd generation
biofuels
Oil Palm Biomass – as Solid
Fuel for Power Generation
Mesocarp Fibre, Palm Shell and EFB
Status of Utilization as Fuel
 Mesocarp fibre and shell – main fuels for combined heat
and power (CHP) plant used in palm oil mills

 EFB fibre and shell – being used as substitutes to fossil fuel


(diesel, coal & medium fuel oil) especially in palm oil mill
complex requiring extra energy for downstream activities
(EFB Fibre Plant, refinery & kernel crushing plant) and other
industries

 EFB can be upgraded into useful and uniform solid fuels


(briquettes & pellet, charcoal)

 These biomass are main feedstocks for Small Renewable


Energy Power Programme, SREP (grid connected power
plant) & CDM (mitigation of Greenhouse Gases, GHG)
projects
Technology for Palm Biomass Solid Fuels
EFB Pretreatment Plant for EFB Fibre (Fuel Preparation)
 EFB requires physical pretreatment to reduce size and moisture
content to enable EFB be more efficient to be used as fuel
 EFB in fibrous form can be potential a feedstock for various
technology of solid fuels or for 2nd Generation Biofuel

Briquetting & Pelletizing


 process of compressing/ compacting the loose biomass into higher
density fuels in shape of briquette and pellet via mechanical
treatment for easy handling, transportation and storage of material.
 Typical diameter sizes : briquettes Ø < 9cm, pellet Ø <1cm
 Can be further treated into charcoal or torrefied pelelt / briquette

Torrefaction & Carbonization


 process of heating of biomass in the absence of O2 to a temperature
of 200 – 300º C within certain retention time. The process will reduce
the weight of the biomass and increase the CV.
 The loose torrefied and carbonized biomass could be pelletized into
uniform fuel
EFB Pre-Treatment Technology for Fuel Preparation

EFB Screw press cum shredder Hammer mill

EFB fibre as fuel


EFB Juice for Oil Recovery
Dry and short EFB Fibre as
feedstock for the production
of briquettes and pellets fuel

Post Treatment – Drying Biomass boiler / power


generation
Uniform-Solid Fuels from Oil Palm Biomass
(EFB Fibre, Briquettes & Pellets)
Palm biomass briquettes – piston press Biomass Pellet
technology

Charcoal briquettes

Characteristics:
• Calorific Value 17895 –
18235 kJ/kg
• Moisture content < 6.0% Palm Biomass Briquettes – Screw Extrusion Technology

• Ash content < 6.0% Fibrous EFB & Bale


• Specific Density 1100 – 1300
kg/m3

Torrefied Pellet
Second Generation Biofuels –
Palm Lignocellulosic Biomass
Biomass to Liquid (BTL)
Bio-oils •Carbonisation
•Slow & Fast Pyrolysis
•Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP)
•BTG
Synthetic diesel •Thermal/Catalytic depolymerisation
Bioethanol/Biobuthanol •Fermentation/Catalysis
•Thermomechanical/Thermochemical,
acid or enzymatic hydrolyses,
mechanoenzyme
Hydrocarbon fuel •Hydrotreating
Transport Fuel •Catalytic cracking
•Hydrocracking
•Gasification-Pyrolysis-Fischer-Tropsch
Tedious and energy intensive due to
**Pre-Treatment difficulty in breaking the complicated
cell wall of palm biomass.
Commercialization of 2nd
Generation Biofuel
• Under NKEA – palm oil sector: one
initiative is to set up commercial bio-oil
plant using EFB as feedstock.
• Plant will generate electricity for grid
connection.
Pyrolysis of Palm Biomass
Products: - Bio-oil, biochar and gas
Properties of Temperature (C)
bio-oil 400 500 600
Calorific Value 20.23 21.41 21.17
(MJ/kg)
Total Ash, % 0.49 0.65 0.37
pH 3.4 3.0 3.0
MPOB Pyrolysis Experimental Rig
Moisture (%) 17.89 18.74 18.21
Density (g/cm3) 1.00 0.90 0.99

Type of Oil Palm Bio-oil Char Gas


Biomass (%) (%) (%)
EFB 38.28 23.05 38.67

Trunk 29.39 16.76 53.86

Frond 25.74 42.54 31.72


Biochar Bio-oil
Shell 18.93 55.13 25.94
Catalytic Depolymerisation (CDP) of Palm Biomass
Product: - Synthetic Diesel

Cracked

The catalyst cracks the long molecular


chains of the hydrocarbons and shortens
them in a specific way
The CH2-Molecule structure remains and the
molecule length is only reduced (optimally
on C15)
Malaysian municipal
Organic Waste With
Wood / EFB solid waste
Used Oil
Fermentation of Palm Biomass
Product: lignin, fermentable sugars, bioethanol
Stage 1: Pre-treatment
Fractionation of lignocellulosic component of EFB
by using thermo-mechanical/chemical digestion
process
Sustainable conversion of palm biomass to
bioethanol through biotechnological advances

Stage 2: Sugars hydrolysis & extraction


Production of fermentable sugars from palm
biomass (EFB) as bioethanol feedstock

Stage 3: Fermentation
Fermentation of sugars from EFB
to bioethanol
Special microorganism is required to break open the
cell wall to convert cellulose to glucose/xylose.
Bioethanol Production from Empty
Fruit Bunches (EFB)
Inoculated with
microbe

Treated Palm Biomass


(Hydrolysate)

Incubation

Mixture of Analysis
fermentation Distillation at Fermentation
product (bioethanol) 75ºC broth
Bioethanol Production from Oil Palm
Trunk

Oil palm trunk Removal of bark

Mechanical extraction
Sample analysis (pressing )
(moisture content, sugar
content and fermentation)
Potential Hydrocarbon Fuel from
Palm Biomass

 Thermal cracking
 Catalytic cracking
 Hydrocraking
• Potential cracked products: saturated
& unsaturated hydrocarbons C5–C17
• Potential use as gasoline substitute
(Aviation Fuel)
Biomass to Gas (BTG)

Producer gas/ •Combustion


Syngas •Gasification
•BTG

Biogas (POME) •Anaerobic Digestion


•Biomethane •Fermentation
•Biohydrogen • Fuel cell (Catalytic process)
Gasification of Palm Biomass
Product: - Syngas

Other Gasification pilot plant


Capacity: 30 kW, Fuel: EFB briquettes

• MPOB in-house technology – pilot scale down-draft fluidized


sand bed gasifier
• Feed: Empty fruit bunches, palm shell and fiber
• Process optimization in progress to achieve: H2 (40%); CO
(30%); CH4 (10%)
Biogas from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME)
 About 0.65 – 0.675 m3 of POME is generated for every 1
tonne of FFB processed

 56 million tonnes of POME generated in 2009

 Biogas is produced during the decomposition of organic


matters in anaerobic pond

 It contains about 60-70 % Methane (CH4), 30-40 %


Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and trace amount of Hydrogen
Sulphide, (H2S)

 Methane - the global warming potential – 21 times higher


than CO2

 Potential yield: 1 m3 of completely digested POME


produces 28 -38 m3 biogas

 1624 million m3 of biogas generated in 2009 CH4


CH4
 GHG emission reduction: 16 – 20 million tonnes CO2 eq.

CH4 CO2 CO2


Trapping of Biogas at Palm
Oil Mills

 Under NKEA – palm oil sector:


all palm oil mills to have
methane trapping facilities by
2020
 16 – 20 million tonnes of
carbon dioxide equivalent per
year mitigated
Biogas Plant at Palm Oil Mills
• Two technologies: digester and covered lagoon
• Biogasapplication:
- Electricity generation - on & off grid
- CHP - steam and heat
- Co-firing in biomass boiler and diesel
genset to reduce the utilization of the
palm shell and diesel
• Power potential: 1 -2 MW from 60 t/hr POM

Ponding system of POME treatment


POTENTIAL BIOGAS UTILIZATIONS IN OPTIONS OF
PALM OIL MILLS UTILIZATION
Diesel Engine (cofiring) Electricity

Gas Engine Electricity

Co-firing in biomass boiler Gas engine for electricity Micro Turbine Electricity

Cleaning
Package Boiler / Electricity
Biomass boiler
(cofiring) Steam
Biogas / Methane
POME Flare

Cooling Mixing Anaerobic Aerobic

•Land application
•Composting
•Water course
Biogas capturing technology – cover lagoon and digester tank Composting / biofertilizer
Avoidance of Methane

Methane avoidance:
1. Co-Composting: EFB co-compost with POME/decanter cake and boiler
ash

2. Utilisation of Non-oil Component:

- Sampling of non-oil phase after the screw pressing


- The low oil fraction showed that it can be used as a food source
Issues & Challenges
Issues on Renewable Energy from
Oil Palm Biomass / Biogas as Fuel

 Competitiveness uses of biomass for non-energy products

 Interconnection issue / cabling cost / load demand and safety – location of


the power plants (for grid connected power plant)

 Uncertainties of long terms biomass supply & pricing mechanism, logistic


and transportation cost

 Unnecessary bureaucratic requirements – the need for one-stop centre,


competent local personnel

 Need for more financial support / incentives / simplified REPPA

 Inconsistency of biomass fuel quality – EFB pre- treatment plant

 Inefficient / low efficiency of CHP used in palm oil mills – increment of


efficiencies may generate excess energy and revenue (save palm biomass)
Way Forward
Towards Zero Wastes /Reduced
Emissions
METHANE
TRAPPING
POME
Direct Composting
Sedimentation pond Application
Biogas
Biogas System Solid Sludge

Sedimentation pond Decanter


EFB
Cake
Electricity Steam
Aerobic Digestion Biofertilizer

Nanofiltration
Gas engine boiler
Discharge of effluent,
Drinking Water
Towards innovating less
energy intensive pre-
treatment technology Land Application
Conclusion

 The palm oil industry, though


producing mainly palm oil for food
applications also uses palm oil for
biodiesel production.

 The industry also produces huge


amounts of non-oil biomass residues
which can be used for renewable
energy.

 A zero waste approach is pursued for


sustainability.