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EFB Densification To CPO Downstream Industries


Energy is generally the highest cost component in the production process.  Energy savings would give a significant impact on production costs and product prices. So that the energy must be obtained at a low cost for production efficiency. Utilization of wastes available is a surefire way to get the production efficiency, especially these wastes generated daily is available or even with a large number or capacity.

EFB (empty fruit bunch) is waste that is generated every day in the palm oil mill or CPO factory. The EFB volume or capacity pretty much every day, for example: the CPO mill with a capacity of 30 ton FFB (fresh fruit bunch) / hour will be generated tankos 8.1 tonnes / hour (5.7 tons of water, 2.4 tons of dry weight) or 162 tonnes each day (114 tons of water, 48 tons of dry weight). EFB utilization for energy source in refining or downstream of CPO, is the perfect solution for waste management and the source of energy.


EFB is wet waste of palm oil and large size from the CPO mill can not be directly used but must be processed in advance so that a fuel or energy source ready. Densification or compaction of EFB into pellets or briquettes is the solution to fuel or energy source that is ready to use it.

Since the Government implemented customs exit (BK = Bea Keluar in Indonesian) CPO, downstream palm oil industry in Indonesia is growing. Finance Minister Regulation (PMK) No. 67/2010 on Stipulation of Export Goods Subject BK and BK Rates mentioned, CPO exports imposed BK from 0-25% depending on price developments in Rotterdam, Netherlands. But the government ultimately lowering the amount of BK to 22.5% after the oil palm planters protest. Magnitude BK was arranged through the PMK No. 128/2011 regarding the Stipulation of Export Goods subject to export duty on August 15, 2011.  Analogy in the fields of petroleum, sell export crude oil should be restricted or even banned, but the industrial products which have undergone treatment so as to give a great added value supported and encouraged as much as possible. Indonesian palm oil product exports 60-70% is in the form of CPO, while the downstream products is only 30-40%. Refinery or refining of CPO was built and some have already been produced. In general, oil products are divided into crude palm oil (CPO), refined products of CPO, palm kernel oil (PKO) and refined products of PKO, biodiesel and oleo-chemical.

Purification or CPO refinery is now generally only owned by CPO large factories, while the small and medium-sized CPO factories in general do not have the CPO purification unit. Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) noted that currently there are 1,911 oil palm industries in Indonesia which produce 23.5 million tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO) from an area of 8.2 million hectares of land. Utilization of wastes optimally so that the production process of CPO into zero waste and energy cost savings (energy efficiency), the target of all production processes. Briquetting and peletting of EFB as a source of cheap energy, environmentally friendly (carbon neutral) and sustainable for CPO refining industries means will drive the downstream palm oil products, and can be more affordable for the small and medium sized factories.

Simply put the small and medium palm oil mills are going process or producing EFB briquette thereby increasing revenue, making it more profitable than throw away or sold cheaply, while large factories which have CPO purification unit can buy it as fuel for the CPO refining. EFB briquettes price could be cheaper than other energy but still profitable for the EFB briquette producer. In addition to getting energy from burning EFB briquettes, the briquettes buyers will also get an additional benefit from the use of ash.

EFB Ash, photo is taken from here

Nutrient in Banana fruit and K have large portion on it
Effect of  K in banana yield
After EFB densification or compaction product in the form of briquettes or pellets then burned it will leave ash as combustion residue or waste. Ash has many benefits for the life of plants. Ash from EFB palm oil are also rich in various compounds, especially potassium (K) which is necessary for the plant with the percentage ranges from 30-40%.  Potassium has many functions for plant namely transporting sugar, to control stomata on the leaves by maintaining electro-neutrality in a plant cell, a co-factor of more than 40 enzime and reduce the occurrence of various diseases. The ash of EFB can then be used as organic fertilizer in the palm oil plantation itself and other plantations, like banana. The high content of potassium in bananas and leaves, indicating potassium is the most important nutrients in banana production. Some of potassium from the soil is taken or removed from the plantation in the form of a banana crop very much.

Banana fruit
Estimated loss of the potassium element from the soil through the banana fruit alone reached 400 kg (equivalent to 480 kg K2O) per hectare with a production of 70 tons of fruit. Based on these reason, the banana still require high amount of potassium supply, although the content of potassium in the soil is already quite high. A study on the banana tree with K2O giving as much as 1000 grams / tree has given a bunch of banana weighing 29.4 kg. Some plants are also less suitable and sensitive element of chloride (Cl), so that the portions need to be reduced or even eliminated. In the banana plant, for example the high chloride make banana seedling growth is disrupted and empty fruit. K2O is a compound in EFB ash can be used as ideal organic fertilizer, replacing KCl fertilizer. Potassium fertilizers on the market today KCl and K2SO4 (ZK). The price of KCl fertilizer is cheap because of subsidy, while K2SO4 (ZK) fertilizer is expensive, following the dollar exchange rate because it is not subsidized so that only generally only used by large estates/plantations. Whereas if our plants need potassium fertilizer and does not contain chloride, and ZK fertilizer price in the market is much more expensive, the EFB ash fertilizer that rich of K2O can be a perfect solution.

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