2019 Volume 98 Issue 5 Pages 119-123
In Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, the pile abandonment of empty fruit bunches (EFBs) in the fields of palm oil mills is a common practice. This practice results in environmental issues such as generation of unpleasant odors and methane production due to anaerobic decomposition. In the present study, an abandoned moist EFB sample from Rubber Oil Co. Limited, a palm oil mill in the Thachi sub-district municipality, Surat Thani Province, southern Thailand, was collected and sun dried for physical analysis. The bulk density at 13.2% moisture content was 0.118 kg/L. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for electricity generation and methane production due to anaerobic decomposition were compared applying life cycle assessment. A cargo capacity of 621 kg of EFBs and a 59 km distance to the Surat Thani Biomass Power Plant in Surat Thani province were adapted with reference to Thailand’s GHG emission factors. The system boundary included the EFBs in the palm oil mill and the nearest power plant. The CO2 equivalent GHG emissions per kg of EFB for the transportation, generation, and field abandonment (methane emission) were 0.077, -0.877, and 2.136 kg-CO2e, respectively; a sum of -0.8 kg-CO2e emission via electricity generation use was noted as a significant environmental advantage.