Mesophilic co-digestion of palm oil mill effluent and empty fruit bunches

Sang Hyoun Kim, Seon Mi Choi, Hyun Jun Ju, Jin Young Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2163-2170
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Yeungnam University research grant in 2013.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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