Indonesia today is a biggest producer of CPO (crude palm oil) in the world and has the largest palm oil plantation in the world. Palm area in Indonesia in 2007, according Dirjenbun, Department of Agriculture, estimated to reach 6.6 million ha and the production of CPO in the year reached 17.3 million tons. The area and production is expected to continue to rise given the current intensively conducted slowly opening new oil, especially in the island of Kalimantan and Papua.
Oil palm plantation and CPO production of Indonesia (Data from Dirjenbun).
Palm oil trees produce palm fruit collected in bunches, therefore, often called as Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB). Adult oil palm tree is already in optimal production can produce FFB weight between 15-30 kg / bunche.
FFBs are then transported to the factory for further processed to produce palm oil. The main product of oil mill is crude palm oil palm (CPO) and palm kernel oil. CPO is extracted from the fiber, which is part bettween shell and skin. Meanwhile, the pulp will produce palm kernel oil. Palm varieties with thick rind are preferred by farmer, because this varieties of palm fruit which has a high oil yield.
Mass balance of processing palm oil at the mill are described by the picture below. From each ton of processed FFB can produce 140 to 200 kg of CPO. In addition to the processing of CPO also generate waste / product side, such as: waste water(POME=Palm Oil Mill Effluent), palm shell, fiber, and palm oil empty fruit bunches.
Liquid waste produced very much, and it ranged between 600 to 700 kg.
Also produced fiber and shells that reach 190 kg.
Fiber of palm oil
Palm oil shells piled in the palm oil palm mill.
Fiber and shells usually used as fuel of boiler. Steam produced from boiler used to generate electricity and boiling FFB before further process in the mill.
Abundantly another waste beside paml oil effluent are oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) that can reach 230 kg every ton of processed FFB. Its is very high in volume and mounting in palm oil mill. Previously OPEFB discarded without chopped first. Consider the image below showing the mountain of OPFEB in oil palm mill.
But now some oil palm mill have started to chopping OPEFB. Chopping machine used have large capacity and some in one palm oil mill.
OPEFB Chopping machine
Chopping process can reduce volume of OPEFB and easier to further process.
According to data from Dirjenbun, potential of those OPEFB are very big as showed in picture bellow.
Predicted data of OPEFB in Indonesia since 2000-2009 calculated from CPO production data.