Valorisation of palm oil mill effluent to hydrogen and biogas

The aim of this project is to reduce GHG emissions in palm oil production and contribute to increased sustainability of palm oil production in Malaysia.

The project will join the efforts of specialists to evaluate and design the production of hydrogen and methane from POME. The envisaged process will annihilate leakage of green house gases, i.e. CO2 and CH4, from the current open ponds to the atmosphere. Furthermore, the production of hydrogen is a strong innovation and will bring additional revenue to the palm oil mill as hydrogen is a valuable chemical with numerous applications, in chemical industry, electronics, food processing and in the stationary as well as mobile energy sectors as fuel for fuel cells.

The current increased interest in hydrogen comes from the high efficiency of electricity production from hydrogen in combination with a fuel cell reaching values of 70% and even higher when the heat produced in the fuel cell can be utilized. Fuel cells are electricity plants by choice for use in remote areas because of their stand-alone application and little demand for maintenance due to the lack of moving parts. As such the production of hydrogen would add to an increase of valuable applications of agro-industrial process residues, starting with POME but including other residues, world-wide as the envisaged technology becomes mature.