Selection of palm oil mill effluent treatment for biogas generation or compost production using an analytic hierarchy process

  • Muhammad Ansori Nasution
  • Dhani S. Wibawa
  • Tofael Ahamed
  • Ryozo Noguchi


Palm oil mill effluent (POME) is the liquid waste from palm oil mills, and is generally treated using open lagoon technology. However, open lagoons can also be combined with more environmentally friendly technologies. In this study, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was used to determine the best combination open lagoon of technology (COLT) for POME treatment. The selected criteria were benefit, opportunity, risk, and cost, with sub-criteria further determined based on these criteria. The sub-criteria were revenue, greenhouse gas reduction, employment absorption, corporate social responsibility, co-processing, environmental risk, marketing risk, technology reliability, investment cost, operation and maintenance cost, and opportunity cost. The alternatives were COLT-composting for fertilizer purpose and COLT-biogas for energy generation purpose. Calculation and analysis was performed on questionnaire data using Expert Choice®. COLT-composting proved to be the superior COLT using tentative performance of alternative in this research, with advantages in benefit, opportunity, and risk. The priority weight for COLT-composting was 0.636. Sensitivity analysis was performed by changing criteria priorities. For COLT-biogas to be considered better than COLT-composting, the cost would need to be weighted more than 0.954.


Palm oil mill effluent Analytic hierarchy process Biogas Composting 



The authors would like to thank the Indonesia oil palm research institute (IOPRI) and PT Socfin Indonesia for their support of this research. We also like to express our gratitude and thank to the all participants who were involved in this research questionnaire.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 565 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 98 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Ansori Nasution
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dhani S. Wibawa
    • 1
    • 4
  • Tofael Ahamed
    • 3
  • Ryozo Noguchi
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Indonesian Oil Palm Research Institute (IOPRI)MedanIndonesia
  3. 3.Faculty of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Surfactant and Bioenergy Research CenterBogor Agricultural UniversityBogorIndonesia

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