Hybrid Approach for Optimisation and Analysis of Palm Oil Mill

Steve Z. Y. Foong, Viknesh Andiappan, Raymond R. Tan, Dominic C. Y. Foo, Denny K. S. Ng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


A palm oil mill produces crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil and other biomass from fresh fruit bunches. Although the milling process is well established in the industry, insufficient research and development reported in optimising and analysing the operations of a palm oil mill. The performance of a palm oil mill (e.g., costs, utilisation and flexibility) is affected by factors such as operating time, capacity and fruit availability. This paper presents a hybrid combined mathematical programming and graphical approach to solve and analyse a palm oil mill case study in Malaysia. The hybrid approach consists of two main steps: (1) optimising a palm oil milling process to achieve maximum economic performance via input-output optimisation model (IOM); and (2) performing a feasible operating range analysis (FORA) to study the utilisation and flexibility of the developed design. Based on the optimised results, the total equipment units needed is reduced from 39 to 26 unit, bringing down the total capital investment by US$6.86 million (from 18.42 to 11.56 million US$) with 23% increment in economic performance (US$0.82 million/y) achieved. An analysis is presented to show the changes in utilisation and flexibility of the mill against capital investment. During the peak crop season, the utilisation index increases from 0.6 to 0.95 while the flexibility index decreases from 0.4 to 0.05.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019


  • Feasible operating range analysis
  • Flexibility index
  • Graphical approach
  • Mathematical programming
  • Utilisation index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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