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Thermophilic anaerobic co-digestion of oil palm empty fruit bunches with palm oil mill effluent for efficient biogas production


  • O-Thong, Sompong
  • Boe, Kanokwan
  • Angelidaki, Irini


The effect of pretreatment methods for improved biodegradability and biogas production of oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) and its co-digestion with palm oil mill effluent (POME) was investigated. The maximum methane potential of POME was 502mL CH4/gVS-added corresponding to 33.2m3 CH4/ton POME and 98% biodegradability. Meanwhile, the maximum methane potential of EFB was 202mL CH4/gVS-added corresponding to 79.1m3 CH4/ton EFB with 38% biodegradability. Co-digestion of EFB with POME enhanced microbial biodegradability and resulted in 25–32% higher methane production at mixing ratios of 0.4:1, 0.8:1 and 2.3:1 on VS basis than digesting EFB alone. The methane yield was 276–340mL CH4/gVS-added for co-digestion of EFB with POME at mixing ratios of 0.4:1–2.3:1, while minor improvement was observed at mixing ratios of 6.8:1 and 11:1 (175–197mL CH4/gVS-added). The best improved was achieved from co-digestion of treated EFB by NaOH presoaking and hydrothermal treatment with POME, which resulted in 98% improvement in methane yield comparing with co-digesting untreated EFB. The maximum methane production of co-digestion treated EFB with POME was 82.7m3 CH4/ton of mixed treated EFB and POME (6.8:1), corresponding to methane yield of 392mL CH4/gVS-added. The electricity production of 1ton mixture of treated EFB and POME would be 1190MJ or 330kWh of electricity. The study shows that there is a great potential to co-digestion treated EFB with POME for bioenergy production.

Suggested Citation

  • O-Thong, Sompong & Boe, Kanokwan & Angelidaki, Irini, 2012. "Thermophilic anaerobic co-digestion of oil palm empty fruit bunches with palm oil mill effluent for efficient biogas production," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 648-654.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:93:y:2012:i:c:p:648-654
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.12.092

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alvarez, René & Lidén, Gunnar, 2008. "Semi-continuous co-digestion of solid slaughterhouse waste, manure, and fruit and vegetable waste," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 726-734.
    2. Sumathi, S. & Chai, S.P. & Mohamed, A.R., 2008. "Utilization of oil palm as a source of renewable energy in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(9), pages 2404-2421, December.
    3. O. Chavalparit & W.H. Rulkens & A.P.J. Mol & S. Khaodhair, 2006. "Options For Environmental Sustainability Of The Crude Palm Oil Industry In Thailand Through Enhancement Of Industrial Ecosystems," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 271-287, May.
    4. Bruni, Emiliano & Jensen, Anders Peter & Pedersen, Erik Silkjær & Angelidaki, Irini, 2010. "Anaerobic digestion of maize focusing on variety, harvest time and pretreatment," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(7), pages 2212-2217, July.
    5. Cirne, D.G. & Paloumet, X. & Björnsson, L. & Alves, M.M. & Mattiasson, B., 2007. "Anaerobic digestion of lipid-rich waste—Effects of lipid concentration," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 965-975.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmad, Ashfaq & Buang, Azizul & Bhat, A.H., 2016. "Renewable and sustainable bioenergy production from microalgal co-cultivation with palm oil mill effluent (POME): A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 214-234.
    2. repec:eee:rensus:v:82:y:2018:i:p3:p:2993-3006 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Koch, Konrad & Helmreich, Brigitte & Drewes, Jörg E., 2015. "Co-digestion of food waste in municipal wastewater treatment plants: Effect of different mixtures on methane yield and hydrolysis rate constant," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 250-255.
    4. Aziz, Muhammad & Prawisudha, Pandji & Prabowo, Bayu & Budiman, Bentang Arief, 2015. "Integration of energy-efficient empty fruit bunch drying with gasification/combined cycle systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 188-195.
    5. Yang, Liangcheng & Xu, Fuqing & Ge, Xumeng & Li, Yebo, 2015. "Challenges and strategies for solid-state anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic biomass," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 824-834.
    6. Jurado, Esperanza & Skiadas, Ioannis V. & Gavala, Hariklia N., 2013. "Enhanced methane productivity from manure fibers by aqueous ammonia soaking pretreatment," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 104-111.


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