The palm oil mill industry generates palm oil mill effluent (POME) and empty fruit bunches (EFB) as by-products. This study reports the mesophilic co-digestion of POME with EFB. The biochemical methane potential (BMP) of POME and EFB was 0.397 L CH4/g volatile solids (VS) and 0.264 L CH 4/g VS, respectively. In a series of batch tests at various EFB to POME ratios, the maximum methane production rate was achieved at an EFB:POME ratio of 0.25-0.31:1. Performance data from lab-scale digesters confirmed the positive synergism by the addition of EFB to POME, which was attributed to the balanced chemical composition, for example the chemical oxygen demand (COD) to total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) ratio. The EFB addition enhanced the acceptable organic loading rate, methane production, COD removal, and microbial activity. The mesophilic co-digestion of POME and EFB promises to be a viable recycling method to alleviate pollution problems and recover renewable energy in the palm oil mill industry.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal