Supply Chain Analysis, Delivered Cost, and Life Cycle Assessment of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Biomass for Green Chemical Production in Malaysia

Carter Walker Reeb, Tyler Hays, Richard A. Venditti, Ronalds Gonzalez, Steve Kelley


Financial, environmental, and supply chain analyses of empty fruit bunch (EFB) biomass are needed for the development of a sustainable green chemicals industry in Malaysia. Herein, holistic analysis of the supply system and EFB life cycle cradle-to-gate are analyzed in an effort to make recommendations for the commercial-scale collection and delivery of EFB from crude palm oil (CPO) extraction facilities to biorefineries in Malaysia. Supply chain modeling tracked inputs and outputs for financial analysis. The openLCA software was used for life cycle assessment (LCA). Allocation scenarios were used to explore the impact of accounting methodologies on the competitiveness of EFB compared to other feedstocks. Sensitivity analysis on the effect of transportation distance, emission flows, and allocation methods on resulting environmental impacts were conducted. The No Burden, Economic, and Mass allocation scenarios resulted in 17, -2.3, and -265 kg CO2-eq. BD tonne-1 EFB global warming impacts (GW), respectively. Delivered cost for EFB was calculated to be approximately 45 US$ BD tonne-1. Environmental burdens were sensitive to allocation scenario, covered area, and land use change. Delivered cost was sensitive to transport distance, covered area, and yield. It was shown that there is sufficient Malaysia EFB available for between 9 and 28 biorefineries, depending upon the scale of production.


EFB; Biomass; Green chemicals; LCA; Delivered cost; Supply chain analysis

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