Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Production and Fractionation of Bio-Oil Derived from Palm Kernel Shell: a Gate-to-Gate Case Study

  • Yi Herng Chan
  • Raymond R. Tan
  • Suzana YusupEmail author
  • Armando T. Quitain
  • Soh Kheang Loh
  • Yoshimitsu Uemura
Original research paper


This paper presents the life cycle assessment (LCA) of a novel process involving hydrothermal liquefaction of palm kernel shell (PKS) to produce bio-oil and subsequent extraction using supercritical CO2 (sc-CO2) to obtain a phenol-rich extract. In this study, five environmental impact categories, namely global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), human toxicity potential (HTP), and photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP), were considered. In addition, a qualitative analysis on technology readiness level (TRL) on the interpretation of the LCA results was included. Lastly, conventional production of crude phenol was chosen as the benchmark for comparison to identify the environmental impact margins that need to be bridged in the future through process improvements.


Life cycle assessment Bio-oil Hydrothermal liquefaction Supercritical extraction 


Funding Information

This research is supported by Long-Term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS) under the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Bilateral Joint Research Program in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia, De La Salle University, Philippines, and Kumamoto University, Japan.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomass Processing Lab, Center of Biofuel and Biochemical Research, Institute of Self-Sustainable BuildingUniversiti Teknologi PETRONASBandar Seri IskandarMalaysia
  2. 2.Chemical Engineering DepartmentUniversiti Teknologi PETRONASBandar Seri IskandarMalaysia
  3. 3.Chemical Engineering DepartmentDe La Salle UniversityManilaPhilippines
  4. 4.Department of Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Advanced Science and TechnologyKumamoto UniversityKumamotoJapan
  5. 5.International Research Organization for Advanced Science and TechnologyKumamoto UniversityKumamotoJapan
  6. 6.Energy and Environmental Unit, Engineering and Processing DivisionMalaysian Palm Oil BoardKajangMalaysia

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