Strategies to Promote Biogas Generation and Utilisation from Palm Oil Mill Effluent

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Abstract

Palm oil mills generate a large amount of wastewater, known as palm oil mill effluent, during the production of crude palm oil. The high organic contents in palm oil mill effluent have an excellent potential for biogas utilisation. Besides, such effluent must be further treated before discharge or reused in milling processes. In this respect, an integrated biogas and wastewater treatment system should be developed. The aim of this paper is to synthesise and optimise an integrated biogas and wastewater treatment system via a process systems engineering tool that yields maximum economic performance. To illustrate the proposed approach, a typical palm oil mill case study in Malaysia is presented. The variation in palm oil mill effluent availability is considered to evaluate the changes in performance and ensuring the flexibility of the developed system. As shown in the results, implementation of integrated biogas and wastewater treatment system in a typical 60 t/h mill in Malaysia could export up to 1.9 MW electrical power on average. Alternatively, 110,800 GJ/year of compressed biomethane can be produced when feed-in to the national grid is not available. The implementation of integrated biogas and wastewater treatment system successfully reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50,430 t CO2e/year as compared with the conventional open ponding system practiced in the industry. Lastly, feasibility studies and strategies to promote biogas utilisation in the industry are performed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProcess Integration and Optimization for Sustainability
Early online date4 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Compressed biomethane
  • Mathematical optimisation
  • Process synthesis
  • Process systems engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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