EFB Fibre has turn Useless to Useful
EFB (Empty Fruit Bunch) is the by-product from crude palm oil mill which having low economic value before more application being developed. Currently the major application of EFB is extract the fibre for others industry.
Before latest application being developed, converting EFB to compost is seems to be the only solution for most of the crude palm oil mill. Those crude palm oil mills having their own estate will gather the EFB, expose to air to let it turn black and start fermentation. After 120 days of fermentation, the EFB will be transferred back to oil palm estate for compost fertilizer. Sometime we do see palm oil sludge being mixed in the EFB in order to expedite the fermentation process.
Now EFB has more other application other than compost. The new application about EFB is using the fibre nature of the EFB. There are researches about pressed and shredded the EFB to get fibre for biomass boiler; gone through further cleaning process and extracting long fibre for replacing coconut fibre for mattress; extracting Vitamin E from EFB Fibre.
Shredded EFB Fibre has become a major biomass media in this Malaysia. Many steam provider companies have secure the EFB fibre supply chain from crude palm oil mill and selected biomass boiler for supplying steam to surrounding industry. There are estimated total 18million tons of EFB fibre available through out Malaysia for year 2010 and expected more for subsequence years.
EFB fibre as biomass has become one of the major converting application for EFB. Apart there are also companies buying the EFB and recover the long fibre from the EFB. The long EFB fibre has more economic value that could be used as fibre mattress. Due to more profitable income, we also seeing many crude palm oil mills also start investing in this process to extract long fibre from EFB.
In bio-technology industry, there are also researches extracting Vitamin E from fibre or re-grinding the fibre in smaller grain size mixing in food chain.
We are seeing more and more application study in EFB fibre
Biomass Availability – Oil Palm Fibre
In Malaysia, more and more forest or estate are converting to oil palm estate, research has study and showed that using oil palm fibre as biomass for biomass power plant is not only feasible but also practically success.
In year 2009, Malaysia has produced 17.56 million tonnes of crude palm oil and this lead to almost 90 million tones of EFB that yet to further disposal. EFB will be shredded and become one of the major sources for biomass power plant in the country. Until EFB fibre can reach other economic value, we foresee there are still rooms for Malaysia company converting existing fossil fuel power plant to biomass power plant, however the transportation network need to further establish.