Oil palm is grown primarily in Malaysia and Indonesia, and is used to produce palm oil—the most heavily utilized vegetable oil in the world. The trunks of old oil palm trees are systematically felled approximately 25 years after planting, resulting in over 30 million tons of waste wood annually. However, due to their high moisture content and fragile composition, the reality is that the vast majority of these felled trunks are left to decompose within the plantation site. NIPPON STEEL ENGINEERING CO., LTD. has focused attention on developing technology to manufacture biofuels such as pellets and ethanol from these oil palm trunks. This technology features the following characteristics: (1) We are able to reduce moisture content by up to approximately 30% using our custom-developed sap extractor. As a result, drying costs are substantially reduced; (2) Pellets of stable quality with over 4,000 kcal/kg are manufactured; (3) Biofuels such as ethanol can be produced from liquid obtained during the sap extraction process. We are contributing to conservation of the local environment and reduction of greenhouse gases through this technology.
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