2007 Volume 86 Issue 12 Pages 973-977
Studied were inorganic constituents of the ash from various parts of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) such as trunk, frond, mesocarp, endocarp (shell), kernel cake and empty fruit bunch (EFB) by scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDXA). As a result, K, Si, Na, Ca, S, P and Mg were found as elements in all parts of the oil palm studied. Particularly, Si and K were abundant in the trunk, shell, mesocarp and kernel cake, while the frond and kernel cake contained, respectively, K, Ca and P in a large quantity. The elements of Cl, Fe and Al were, however, detected only in some parts.
There existed three types of shapes in the ash such as needle, sphere and fluffy substances in the oil palm. However, the needles were found only in the trunk with spheres. In some other parts such as frond, shell, kernel cake and EFB, fluffy and sphere substances were found in their ash, while in the mesocarp, only fluffy substances were observed. For the needles and spheres, elements of Na and Si were, respectively, found to be localized, whereas fluffy substances contained all of the elements such as K, Si, Na, Ca, S, P and Mg with sometime Cl, Fe and Al.
These elements found are important and prerequisite for the healthy growth of the oil palm. Therefore, it may be concluded that, upon the whole utilization of the oil palm, inorganic constituents found in this study must be returned to the plantation site. Otherwise, the same has to be compensated to its site for sustainable development.