Investigation of Palm Oil Wastes Characteristics for Co-Firing with Coal
Keywords:Palm oil wastes, biomass co-firing, coal, empty fruit bunch (EFB), mesocarp fiber, palm kernel shell (PKS)
Nowadays, renewable energy is a reliable solution for addressing global warming and fossil fuel depletion issues. Malaysia has an abundance of biomass resources currently underutilized to generate electricity, such as palm oil waste. Wastes from a palm oil mill plant, such as empty fruit bunch (EFB), palm mesocarp fibre (PMF), and palm kernel shell (PKS), are worth to be investigated as a possible raw material for co-firing with coal. The co-firing technique is the low-cost risk approach for the utilization of biomass in electricity generation. This paper aims to review and perform a comparative study on the existing co-firing biomass processes worldwide in order to explore the potential of using palm oil wastes with coal. To achieve successful co-firing of biomass with coal, the feedstock characteristics need to be understood before undergoing several pre-treatment options. It is recommended to implement co-firing palm oil waste with coal in Malaysia because palm oil wastes can reduce greenhouse gas, NOX, and SOX. Co-firing of palm oil wastes in existing coal-fired power plants is one of the practical ways to be implemented as it helps to reduce the over-consumption of fossil fuels. Based on the findings, Malaysia seems to be on the right track to maximize the use of palm oil wastes either in a standalone biomass power plant or in a co-firing power plant. The improved utilization will further minimize the negative impact of the greenhouse gas emission from the untreated palm oil mill wastes.