Biogas Power Generation from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME): Techno-Economic and Environmental Impact Evaluation

Ahyahudin Sodri, Fentinur Evida Septriana

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using palm oil mill effluent (POME) to produce biogas is an alternative and sustainable way to control POME GHG emissions while also providing economic benefits. The increasing area of oil palm plantations encourages an increase in palm oil production and the generation of POME in Indonesia. This could increase potential GHG emissions and global warming. In contrast, biogas power plants from POME are less attractive for economic investment in Indonesia. However, as the world’s largest palm oil producer, Indonesia still lacks techno-economic and environmental studies of biogas power generation from POME. This study aimed to evaluate the technical, economic, and environmental aspects of the biogas power generation from POME at the study site (Bangka Island, Indonesia). The result shows that the biogas plant at the study site can reduce COD levels of POME by up to 91% and produce biogas at 325,292 m3/month, with a 55% methane content. Biogas can be converted into electrical energy at 696,163 kWh/month. The operation of this biogas plant can reduce GHG emissions by 1131 tons CO2-eq/month, with low profitability (NPV of IDR—1,281,136,274, IRR 6.75%, and a payback period of 10.8 years). This evaluation proves that the main problem in the factory is the POME used, which is insufficient, and which could be overcome by purchasing POME from other palm oil mills. Furthermore, using the mesophilic anaerobic degradation process at the study site is feasible. However, a technological shift from closed lagoons to more efficient bioreactors is urgently needed, to increase the process efficiency and economic benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7265
JournalEnergies
Volume15
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • anaerobic process
  • biogas
  • GHG emissions
  • palm oil mill effluent
  • power generation
  • profitability

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