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Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch as a Promising Feedstock for Biorefinery Products: A Holistic Approach with Economic, Energy, and Environmental Consideration

  • PUTRA Agusta Samodra
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba Research Center for Chemistry, Indonesian Institute of Sciences
  • NOGUCHI Ryozo
    Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
  • AHAMED Tofael
    Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
  • OHI Hiroshi
    Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba

Abstract

<p>The oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) is a rich carbon-source material that can be considered as a valuable candidate for several applications. Recently, EFB has been used as an organic compost fertilizer in oil palm plantations. The life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle cost (LCC), and cumulative energy demand (CED) were used to evaluate the feasibility of EFB as a raw material for dissolving pulp and furfural co-production. An additional techno-economic assessment was performed on realistic industrial-scale process conditions for cost calculation. In the production of 1 kg dissolving pulp with the co-production of 0.01 kg furfural, -1.218 kg CO2 eq of global warming potential (GWP100), -0.006 kg SO2 eq of acidification potential (AP), -0.002 kg PO43- eq of eutrophication potential (EP), -0.054 kg 1,4-DB eq of human toxicity potential (HTP) and 1.887 MJ of cumulative energy demand (CED) were generated. The economic assessment indicated that the production of 1 kg dissolving pulp in the proposed product system resulted in earnings of 71.11 JPY based on LCC methodology and earnings of 54.44 JPY in the techno-economic assessment simulation after 15 years. The application of the waste-to-product concept for EFB via biorefinery processes, such as dissolving pulp and furfural co-production, offer advantages in terms of economic, environmental, and energy requirements.</p>

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