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Palm is a versatile plant capable of producing a variety of biomass. The production of 1 kg of palm oil can be accompanied by the production of 4 kg of oil palm biomass, and palm biomass and its by-products are seven times that of natural wood. The palm is mainly grown in Southeast Asia, with Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand in the top three. In 2005, the planted area of Asian palm was 7,599,000 hectares, producing 146,093,000 tons of fresh bunches and 10,224,000 tons of empty bunches.

Composition of empty palm fruit bunches

EFB pellets are oily and bulky. They are composed of cellulose and hemicellulose lignin, and contain carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen and other elements, and have a high moisture content of about 65%. The physical properties of palms make them valuable, but also make them difficult to exploit.

Empty Palm Fruit Bunch Utilization

Traditionally, EFB have been underutilized and are often used in the following ways:

1. Incineration. Their ashes are recycled as fertilizer for plantations, but mass burning is now not allowed.

2. Returning to the field as mulch not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduces the need for artificial fertilizers by improving carbon sequestration in soil organic matter.

3. Some empty fruit bunches are sent to landfill.

A large amount of EFB biomass energy is wasted due to the limited traditional utilization of EFB. Now with the innovation of EFB conversion technology, EFB biomass can be successfully converted into pellet fuel for co-firing systems and biomass boilers to generate steam and electricity.
Relevant data show that in 2009, 88.74 tons of empty palm fruit bunches in Asia generated 1,714 GWh of off-grid energy at a rate of 20 kWh/ton, with a total off-grid power generation of 357 MW, 400 hours/month.

Palm Fiber Biomass Applications

Empty palm fruit bunches pellet

Why are EFB made into pellets? Can't we put palm biomass directly into boilers or power plants? The reasons for this are as follows:
1. Generally speaking, the energy content of EFB will increase after it is converted into pellets.
2. EFB pellet fuel or briquette with calorific value between 4,200 – 4,900 kg cal/kg 28 can be used to replace coal to relieve energy pressure and environmental pressure.
3. EFB pellets are sustainable and renewable, can be mass-produced and are also very friendly to the environment.
4. The EFB pellets are dense and clean, easy to transport and store, and the particles produce little smoke when burning.

EFB pellet production

Various EFB pellets can be made according to the different requirements of consumers. When investing in EFB pellet production, consider the following advice from mature EFB pellet factory:
1. It is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the EFB pellet production line.
2. The EFB pellet production procedure should meet the requirements of the target market.
3. The raw materials should be sufficient to ensure the continuity of pellet production.
4. The quality of raw materials must be guaranteed. The ideal moisture content of the raw material is 15%. When it exceeds 15%, the raw material should be dried to control the moisture.
5. The location of the palm pellet factory should be convenient for the transportation of raw materials.
6. A feasible investigation is required in advance.

Processing technology of EFB as pellets

A typical EFB pellet production line consists of the following sections: crushing, drying, grinding, granulation, cooling, screening, dust recovery and packaging.
Typically, in the entire EFB pellet production line, the following equipment is involved:
1. Electrical cabinet (used to control the equipment in the entire EFB pellet production line)
2. Palm crusher (making palm biomass into a size suitable for drying)
3. Dryer (control the moisture of raw materials to meet the requirements of granulation)
4. Pulverizer (grinding appropriately sized and dry material into powder for granulation)
5. EFB pellet mill (make the prepared material into pellets)
6. Cooling system (the temperature of the pellets coming out of the pellet machine is too high and needs to be cooled before they can be packaged)
7. Packaging machine (packing the EFB pellets into bags)

Notes in Pellet Processing:

1. Before the worker gets on the machine, the operator must read the instruction manual carefully to understand the various technological processes of the equipment.

2. In the production process, strictly follow the procedures and operation sequence, and carry out the installation operation as required.

3. The main equipment needs to be installed and fixed on a flat concrete floor and fixed with screws.

4. Smoking and open flames are strictly prohibited at the production site.

5.After each boot, it needs to be idle first. After the equipment runs normally without abnormality, the material can be fed evenly.

6. It is strictly forbidden to add hard impurities such as stones and metals into the feeding device. In order to avoid damage to the granulation chamber, iron should be removed before granulation.

7. It will be dangerous, if the material is moved by hand or other tools during the operation of the equipment.

8. If abnormal noise occurs during the production process, the power supply should be cut off immediately. After checking and handling the abnormal situation, the production can continue.

9. The feeding must be stopped first, and then the machine should be shut down. After the raw materials of the feeding system are processed, the power supply should be cut off.

Correctly operating the pellet mill as required and paying attention to relevant matters as required can not only improve the output and operating performance of the equipment, but also prolong the service life of the equipment.

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