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Land application of biomass residue generated from palm oil processing: its potential benefits and threats

Abstract

Man’s increased demand for food and better living conditions has led to over exploitation of resources and the consequent generation of enormous amounts of liquid and solid waste materials. This is one of the global challenges for mankind. In Malaysia, palm oil mill waste (POMW) contributes the highest proportion of industrial solid wastes produced yearly. Wastes from the mills include palm oil mill effluent, decanter cake, empty fruit bunches, seed shells and the fibre from the mesocarp. Direct application of POMW into agricultural soil has resulted in a number of problems such as water pollution, leaching. However, with application rates specific for targeted plant species, land application can be employed as a permanent solution to the problem of waste from palm oil mills. This review examines the characteristics of each of the palm oil wastes and their potential for use as a future fertilizer supplement.

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Acknowledgment

The authors are very grateful to Prof. Sultan A. Ismail for his encouragement and suggestions throughout the editing of this manuscript. We would also like to thank Universiti Sains Malaysia under the PRGS 1001/PTEKIND/844080 grant scheme for the funding provided.

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Correspondence to Asha Embrandiri.

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Embrandiri, A., Singh, R.P., Ibrahim, H.M. et al. Land application of biomass residue generated from palm oil processing: its potential benefits and threats. Environmentalist 32, 111–117 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-011-9367-0

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Keywords

  • Empty fruit bunch
  • Decanter cake
  • Palm kernel cake
  • Land application
  • Composting