Jumat, 22 Februari 2019

Owls, Cobra Snakes or Liquid Smoke to Repel Mice at Palm Oil Plantations?

Mice are animals that disrupt various human activities so they must be expelled or killed. Many stories from farmers who experienced crop failure due to rampant rat pests. Likewise in palm oil plantations, rats will damage the palm fruit. Biological countermeasures are mostly carried out, namely with owls and cobra snakes. While other efforts that can be done is by liquid smoke. Aside from being used for fertilizer, liquid smoke can also be used to repel these mice. A strong aroma and an acidic nature will make the mice away from the palm oil trees that have been given liquid smoke. The longer the effect of liquid smoke on the palm oil tree the longer the mice away from the palm tree.
Liquid smoke does not harm humans and can be produced in large quantities. Besides that liquid smoke also comes from biomass (pyrolysis) so that it is an environmentally friendly chemical and from renewable sources. Empty bunches or EFB which have generally not been utilized by palm oil mills can be used for the production of liquid smoke. In addition to liquid smoke, biochar is also produced which is also very useful in the palm oil plantations, for more details, please read here. Production of liquid smoke and biochar from EFB will also be a solution to handling solid waste in the form of empty bunches. The production of biochar and liquid smoke for large scale can be done only with continuous pyrolysis units, for more details, please read here.
While when biochar and liquid smoke are used in oil palm plantations, the pyrolysis product in the form of syngas and biooil can be used for boiler fuel. When syngas and biooil are used as fuel, palm kernel shells and a number of mesocarp fibers can be sold or exported like CPO. PKS (palm kernel shell) or shell can be exported directly to Japan or Korea. Whereas mesocarp fiber can be made pellets or briquettes before being exported. Production of pellets or briquettes from mesocarp fiber is almost the same as the production of wood pellets or sawdust briquettes, for reference can be read here and here.
Back to the laptop. So the production of liquid smoke from pyrolysis of empty palm bunches is more likely to be a solution to overcome rat pests in addition to various other advantages for palm oil plantations and mills. In addition, liquid smoke can also be used for fertilizers and is not harmful. Even to optimize the control of rodent pests is very possible with a combination of liquid smoke with owls and cobra snakes.

Kamis, 21 Februari 2019

EFB Biochar and Fertilizer Savings in Palm Oil Plantations

High palm oil plantation productivity and high oil yield has always been a goal in the palm oil business. The nutrient estimates needed to produce 25 tons of FFB / ha / year were 192 N, 11 P, 209 K, 36 Mg, and 71 Ca in kg / ha / year. With the production of 25 tons of FFB / ha / year palm oil or CPO crude will produce around 6.5 tons (25% of FFB). Analogy in the field of animal husbandry where the feed component holds 75% of production costs or is the highest cost component, as well as fertilizer, especially in palm oil plantations. Fertilizer is the most expensive cost or 60% of total maintenance costs. To achieve this productivity, the calculation practically of the need is more or less as follows: an afdeling with an area of ​​1,000 hectares with 1 hectare consisting of 143 trees, so there are 143,000 trees of palm oil. If the dose per tree is 2.5 kg, then the fertilizer needs are 357,500 kg (357.5 tons), with the price of non-subsidized chemical fertilizers for example Rp 10,000 / kg, the cost incurred is 3,575,000,000 (Rp. 3,575 billion or US$ 238,333). If an area of ​​10,000 hectares means fertilizer needs of Rp. 35.75 billion (US$ 2,383,33), whereas if the oil palm plantation is 20,000 hectares, it will reach Rp. 71.50 billion (US$ 4,766,667). Of course an amount that is not small.
The question is what efforts can be made to reduce fertilizer costs but increase palm productivity. One contradictory thing seems to be because it reduces the supply of fertilizer but expects high productivity. This is where we need to examine and explore the facts that occur in the field. With a tropical climate and high rainfall, it makes large leached fertilizers. A condition, for example in hilly and bumpy areas, when the rain falls, the fertilizer that is washed is very large, even in vain fertilization is done because it is not absorbed by the palm trees as the target. The high level of leaching from the use of fertilizers by rainwater makes only available a small amount of available fertilizer in real terms or a number of analyzes said averaging only 50%. With the available fertilizers there are only a few that are also automatically absorbed by the palm trees. When for example washing (leaching) can be reduced by only 30%, it means that the fertilizer that is still available becomes 70%, so that the fertilizer is absorbed more and more and the productivity of the palm oil fruit also increases.
The initial stage that can be done is the cost of the same fertilizer but the productivity of the palm oil fruit can increase up to for example 30%. Furthermore, if this can be achieved, fertilizer consumption will be reduced for example up to 30% but palm oil productivity can be maintained at that level. This is possible when biochar has become a microbial colony and the quality of the soil increases so that uptake of fertilizer is maximal. Biochar is one of the media that can be used for this. An empty fruit bunch that is widely available in palm oil mills and is generally not utilized as a raw material for biochar production. A palm oil mill with a production capacity of 60 tons / hour FFB will produce EFB 13.2 tons / hour so that if the palm oil mill operates 20 hours / day the EFB produced 264 tons / day. The production of biochar with pyrolysis can also produce liquid smoke which can also be used as fertilizer.
Why can biochar be used to increase palm oil productivity and even reduce fertilizer consumption? This is because biochar with its pores with a surface area of ​​about 200 m2 / gram can hold the fertilizer from washing, maintain moisture and many soil microbes that can live in these pores thus improving the physical and chemical properties of the soil. Biochar can last up to hundreds of years in the soil so it does not need to be added every year when the amount is sufficient. Biochar implementation can be started from small scale to massive scale. To process empty fruit bunches (EFB)  in the palm oil mill into biochar, a continuous pyrolysis equiment is needed, to be more clearly read here. To monitor the effectiveness of biochar on oil palm plantations today can use internet technology or IoT (Internet of Things) and for more details can be read here and here.

Selasa, 06 November 2018

Advantages of Municipal Waste Processing by Pyrolysis Compared to Fluidized Bed Combustion, Incenerator, Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) and Gasification

Municipal waste is always a problem everywhere, especially in big cities. With proper processing, the municipal waste should be an attractive opportunity that has great potential. Municipal waste that amounts to thousands of tons per day needs fast handling so that it does not cause problems, moreover the waste management should require cheap investment and even benefit the waste management party. The question is what is the waste processed into, in what ways and where can it be used? Let's compare waste processing with a thermal route with various existing technologies, namely fluidized bed combustion, incenerator, hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) and gasification. Why are only thermal routes compared? This is because if the biological route takes a long processing time and requires a large place. In short, the biological route is not effective in overcoming the problem of municipal waste.
Basically all the thermal technologies mentioned above can be used to process municipal waste, only how effective and how economically profitable it is the topic of discussion. It really depends on the condition of each region, for example a number of major cities in Indonesia have oversupply electricity production, so that if added to electricity production it will meaningless and not absorbed. Another factor is the investment needed for waste processing equipment, which is generally still very expensive. Based on this, a solution is needed that can be suitable for a particular region. In fluidized bed combustion technology, incenerator and gasification in general is to produce electricity, even though electricity has also been oversupplied so it is not an option.
With HTC technology will produce the main product in the form of carbon material or charcoal, but HTC equipment investment is still expensive. Well, of all the thermal route technologies, continuous pyrolysis is the best choice because it produces the main product in the form of charcoal. Charcoal with the main content of carbon can be used for fuel, especially boilers in the industry. Boilers that have been using coal even from other fossil energy such as gas and petroleum can switch to using charcoal produced from municipal waste. The use of charcoal from municipal waste will certainly reduce the use of coal in particular and fossil energy in general. And the most important thing is of course to overcome the environmental problems caused by the garbage. The continuous pyrolysis units are also not centralized in one place, but can be spread more to various locations on a medium scale, for example each location to process municipal waste with a capacity of 200 tons / day. If let's say Jakarta produces 5000 tons / day of municipal solid waste every day, 25 continuous pyrolysis units are needed. To save transportation and facilitate storage and use, the charcoal product can be made of charcoal pellets or charcoal briquettes.
With the use of continuous pyrolysis, InsyaAllah the problem of municipal waste in big cities can be overcome while providing economic benefits (read: profits) for the manager companies. While the garbage problem continues to haunt and has never been resolved to this day, so an effective and solution-oriented innovation is needed to overcome it. Jakarta is the largest city in Indonesia surrounded by many industrial estates and boilers are one of the important equipment widely used by these industries. If Jakarta's waste is processed into charcoal, it can replace the fuel for the boilers. Steam power plants can also use charcoal for their fuel, for example with cofiring. 

Sabtu, 06 Oktober 2018

Modernization Charcoal Production with Continuous Pyrolysis

Charcoal production and charcoal marketing have not been treated by strict rules such as wood pellets. This is mainly due to the large number of charcoal producers, with a small average production and traditional production technology. In addition, the market or buyer also does not require large volumes and long-term contracts. The quality factor remains an important standard, especially for the export market. But it could be that more stringent rules will also apply to production and marketing, given the potential damage caused. The low conversion of traditional charcoal kiln, which is an average of 15%, makes the need for wood raw materials extra, so that to produce 1 million tons of raw materials is needed about 6.5 million tons of wood. The approach to using efficient technology is increasingly urgent especially to serve large and continuous needs. Pyrolysis or continuous carbonization is the solution to this, with a conversion rate to charcoal reaching 30% or almost one third. With this efficient technology, only 3 million tons of wood is needed, or only half that means saving about 3 million tons of wood raw material.

Another motivation for using continuous pyrolysis technology is the high efficiency of energy savings that can be obtained. In charcoal production traditionally more than 60% of energy is lost during the production process. This can be illustrated in making charcoal from coconut shells. Conversion from raw materials to charcoal is only 15-25% in the process of traditional carbonization / pyrolysis. For example, we take a conversion of 25% (the best estimate), with a raw material of 10 tons of coconut shell, then 2.5 tons of charcoal are produced. Coconut shell with a heating value of around 4,500 kcal / kg, meaning that 10 tons of raw material is 45,000,000 kcal. While coconut shell charcoal with a heating value of around 8,000 kcal / kg, then 2.5 tons of charcoal will have a heating value of 20,000,000 kcal / kg. Based on these calculations more than 50% of energy is lost or is only wasted, ie 25,000,000 kcal. If the conversion to charcoal is lower or 20%, the energy loss is even greater, namely 29,000,000 kcal or more than 60%. Of course it is very inefficient and a lot of energy waste.
Whereas in the continuous pyrolysis process almost all energy can be utilized. Syngas and biooil are two types of by-products from pyrolysis that can be used as energy sources. Based on this, not only is conversion increasing, resulting in a reduction in raw materials which are also used by side products that can be used as energy sources. At present there are very few people who are thinking of utilizing the energy lost during the carbonization / pyrolysis process, this is because most people only think about how to increase the conversion to the charcoal. The loss of energy during the carbonization process is unknown or not realized by mostly charcoal producers in particular.
The use of 'lost energy' when the carbonization / pyrolysis process becomes another form of energy is certainly very good and adds value to its benefits. Electricity and heat are the two most needed forms of energy, so the conversion of 'lost energy' or pyrolysis / carbonization byproducts to become electric and heat energy is the best use scenario today. A number of regions or regions in the world still have low levels of electricity access. Africa, for example, on average has a low level of access to electricity, which is less than 30%, whereas in this region is the largest charcoal producer in the world which reaches 50% of global global production. By using continuous pyrolysis, this area, in addition to being the largest charcoal producer and even with a higher conversion, will also have access to electricity with the construction of a power plant fueled by the pyrolysis / carbonization by-products.
Charcoal is an energy product from biomass processing, especially wood. Wood charcoal has been known for a long time and is produced in a number of places. The process of producing wood charcoal is generally traditional, takes a long time and the quality is not uniform. According to FAO, global wood charcoal production in 2015 was recorded at more than 50 million tons and about half of it was produced in Africa. That means with the assumption that the conversion rate of 15% requires biomass, especially wood as raw material, as much as 333 million tons every year with 167 million tons coming from Africa. If the conversion rate to charcoal can be increased to 30% or two times, then the need for raw materials will decrease drastically or only half, namely 167 million tons globally and 83.5 million tons from Africa. What a very significant savings effort.
Every year Europe imports 1 million tons of charcoal, as well as Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern countries import more than 1 million tons of charcoal. Saudi Arabia and the Middle East mainly use charcoal to roast lamb, a favorite food there. The use of charcoal in general is mostly the household sector with retail distribution. In addition charcoal is also used for metallurgy, agriculture (biochar) and activated charcoal (activated carbon) raw materials.

Sabtu, 08 September 2018

Activated Carbon Production From Palm Kernel Shell

Besides being able to be directly used as fuel, for charcoal production and torrified products, palm kernel shells can also be processed for higher added value which is activated carbon. One of the advantages of activated carbon from palm kernel shells is that the majority of micropore is more than 80%. This makes it suitable for recovering gold and silver from the solution. Another thing that makes it suitable for the application is because of the level of its hardness. Activated carbon from palm kernel shells will have characteristics similar to activated carbon from coconut shell. The form of granule is activated carbon which is commonly used for recovery of gold and silver. The granule shape is made by crushing both coconut shells and palm kernel shells to a certain size.
Rotating Kiln For Steam (Physical) Activation
Indonesian and Malaysian palm kernel shell production is huge, which is more than 15 million tons per year from palm oil mills waste. There are around 17 million hectares of palm oil plantations from both countries as palm oil sources and are the largest in the world today. The use of palm kernel shells can be optimized for the production of activated carbon. Activated carbon demand is predicted to increase by about 10% per year and the demand reaches nearly 4 million tons in 2021 valued at 8.12 billion USD (while data in 2015 recorded global production of 2.7 million tons of of activated carbon valued at USD 4.74 billion). Powdered activated carbon (PAC) has the largest market share followed by granular activated carbon (GAC) .The high demand for PAC is mainly driven by the needs in a number of industries such as chemicals, petrochemicals, food and beverages for decolorizarion and deodorization applications. Liquid phase application have the largest portion for usage of activated carbon. Asia Pacific region is the largest market location for activated carbon, and the location of Indonesia and Malaysia which are rich in palm kernel shells is also in the Asia Pacific region, meaning that producers and markets can be in one region, so they should also be the main players of this commodity .
As awareness of sustainability increasing, the production of activated carbon from renewable raw materials will be expanded. It should be noted that world activated carbon production is currently dominated by activated carbon from non-renewable raw materials which reach up to 80% and partly produced in western countries. Activated carbon production can be carried out by chemical or physical activation. Chemical activation is not so much done on an industrial scale because of the associated environmental pollution, although the yield is higher and the operating temperature used is lower. Physical activation, especially with the steam, is the type of activation that is suitable for palm kernel shells and mostly operated today. Rotary kilns are the most widely used equipment for steam or physical activation.
Before being activated, the palm kernel shell is made into charcoal. The charcoal production process is still largely traditional, which makes a lot of air pollution, small yields and large energy losses. Modernization of technology for charcoal production needs to be done to overcome the above. Pyrolysis or continuous carbonization is a technology for charcoal production which is the activated carbon raw material. The pyrolysis or continuous carbonization will also make the activated carbon production process very efficient. This is because one of the highest cost components for the activated carbon production process can be fulfilled from the side products of continuous pyrolysis namely syngas and biooil. For more details can be read here.

Rabu, 29 Agustus 2018

Continuous Pyrolysis for the Activated Carbon Production Part 2

Activated carbon production can be done in two ways, namely physical and chemical activation. Both physical and chemical activation require pyrolysis (carbonization) in the activated carbon production process. The difference about the sequence, in the use of the pyrolysis unit (carbonization) in the activation process is the physical activation of the pyrolysis unit (carbonization) for charcoal production which is then activated using steam or CO2, while the chemical activation of the pyrolysis unit (carbonization) is used for charcoal production from raw materials previously chemically activated like with H3PO4, ZnCl2, KOH. Other differences in physical activation using temperature for activation are higher, namely the range of 800-1000 C while the chemical activation uses a lower temperature, which is around 150-200 C only. Activated carbon products or yield that are produced chemically are more than those produced physically, which are around 3: 1.
The advantage of using a continuous pyrolysis unit for activated carbon production primarily increases the efficiency of the production process and the quality of the products. Efficiency is very important for a production activity. The efficiency of the production process is derived from the use of pyrolysis by-products that can be used to produce heat and even electricity. As an example of physical activation that uses a high operating temperature, excess syngas can be used to reach that temperature. Biooil produced can produce steam. Charcoal products produced from a continuous pyrolysis (carbonization) unit also do not need to be cooled and can be activated directly, so that their energy needs can be minimized. So that the activated carbon production should be an integration between the pyrolysis unit (carbonization) and its activation unit.

While in the chemical activation process, pyrolysis (carbonization) byproducts can also be used for the production of activated carbon. The activation process that uses a temperature that is quite low at 150-200 C can use excess heat from the pyrolysis process for its heat source. While excess syngas can be used to produce electricity for the production of activated carbon or sold to other parties such as other industries or PLN. Biooil can also be used for burner fuel or purified again for the production of vehicle fuel and so on. Continuous use of pyrolysis (carbonization) will also produce high quality, standard and stable product quality, this is because the operating conditions in the unit can be easily and accurately controlled, such as heating rate, residence time and temperature.


While in charcoal production (carbonization) traditionally operating in batches, in addition to a lot of energy loss also produces a lot of smoke which causes air pollution. The loss of energy during the traditional process of carbonization (pyrolysis) can even reach more than 60% meaning that more than half of the energy is only wasted, for more details can be read here. Of course this is very unfortunate, the activated carbon plant which should be able to operate very efficiently and economically, becomes wasteful and expensive. The effect of this is of course on the depletion of the profits obtained by the business. Within a short time it is expected that activated carbon factories will use continuous pyrolysis (carbonization) to increase efficiency, environmental and economic aspects.

Continuous Pyrolysis for Palm Oil Mills

A number of regions have been over-supplied with electricity so it is not possible to add or build new power plants. Making a new plant will only be in vain because the electricity production cannot be utilized or absorbed by the user. Based on this, electricity production in a number of areas must be limited and diversified into other products needed. These other products are products whose needs are still not met. Another thing that can be done is to increase the efficiency of a production process. When the efficiency of a production process is improved and produces the products needed, of course the business benefits increase. Besides that, when all the waste can be processed, it becomes a production unit that is zero waste and environmentally friendly.
Palm oil mills are very numerous in Indonesia and Malaysia, the number reaches more than 1000 units, while Thailand also begins to follow the planting of oil palm. At present some of the palm oil mill effluents have not been processed such as empty palm bunches, palm shells and fronds. The palm oil mill that has been operating can be increased efficiency and the production of by-products that provide additional income. This can be done by using a continuous pyrolysis unit for both electrical and heat energy sources and the production of various by-products in the form of charcoal, biooil and biomass vinegar. The three by-products can be sold or marketed and become an additional income for the palm oil mill which is quite attractive.
Conventional Energy System in Palm Oil Mill

Improved Palm Oil Mill with Continous Pyrolysis System
Palm oil mills also do not need to be bothered with the problem of waste, especially solid waste if everything can be processed and very profitable. Meanwhile, from the environmental aspect of a palm oil mill that is zero waste and environmentally friendly, it is certainly the dream of all the palm oil mill owners. The community and the surrounding environment which is not disturbed by the palm oil mill that is because of its pollution is also a condition desired by the palm oil entrepreneurs. By using the continuous pyrolysis, the air pollution generated is very minimal or far from the required threshold, so that the environment and the surrounding community can be accepted. If the palm oil mills have used continuous pyrolysis, it will also be economically attractive.
Charcoal produced also has many benefits. Technically, charcoal is a stable fuel so it is easy to store and does not decay or is eaten by termites. Charcoal can be used for energy sources directly easily, or converted to other fuels, for example converted into liquid or gas fuel. The condition of fossil fuels, especially petroleum which is increasingly depleted, demands the diversification of energy, such as Indonesia which is predicted to run out of oil in 10 years or in 2028. Likewise, biooil can be used immediately, or upgraded to better fuels, such as vehicle fuel. While biomass vinegar can be used for fertilizer, biopesticides and upgraded to biophenol and wood adhesive.