Oil Palm : A Miracle Plant ?
The uses of Oil Palm are extremely various. However, 80% of the production is intended for agri-food industry, 19% for oleochemistry and 1% for the agrofuels.
The use of by-products has greatly been diversified during the past twenty years. It has been included in agriculture , industry, energy and fuels.
Source : https://pixabay.com/fr/photosan-1464654/
Oil Palm’s by-products, an efficient Bioenergy
In special boilers, the fibers of Palm trees are burned to produce pressurized steam for sterilization issues and also to supply electricity for the factory. The palm oil mills are self-sufficient in energy and contribute to electrification of neighboring villages.
Moreover, the fermentation of the mills’ effluents produces methane which is used to operate generator sets or motor pumps. Furthermore, roundups, organic and nutrients elements are returned to the palm groves and used as fertilizers.
Besides, oil palm’s by-products might also be used as feeds for livestock or also to make wine and palm alcohol from palm sap, which is very popular in Africa.
Oil Palm : a Green fuel ?
Faced with climate change and the increasing costs of fossil fuels, biofuels have been presented as an alternative clean energy source.
Among the many potential sources of biofuel, the use of palm oil on the international market has grown significantly because of the British industrial revolution and the expansion of foreign trade.
While in Europe, drivers are obliged to burn more and more palm oil biodiesel in their cars and trucks and even sometimes without their knowledge.
In 2018, 65% of the palm oil imported to the European Union was mostly used for energy. 53% of it was used to make a “Green Fuel” to fill up cars and trucks and only 12% to produce electricity and heating.
Scientists have found out that the biodiesel based from Palm Oil is the worst of all biofuels because it releases 3 times more the greenhouse gases that fossil diesel.
And if all countries follow the current European thirst for palm oil biodiesel, 4 300 000 hectares in the tropics would be deforested . This area is the equivalent of all the remaining tropical forests and peat lands of Borneo, Sumatran and Peninsular Malaysia.