Effect of Pretreatments on Compost Production from Shredded Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch with Palm Oil Mill Effluent Anaerobic Sludge and Chicken Manure

Nurul Husna Che Hamzah, Azmi Yahya, Hasfalina Che Man, Azhari Samsu Baharuddin


Rapid co-composting of lignocellulosic oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) and palm oil mill effluent (POME) is a cost-effective and sustainable way to eliminate biomass residues. In this study, suitable pre-treatments and co-substrates for an accelerated composting treatment process were investigated. A steam pre-treatment was performed prior to composting. The composting mixtures were placed in plastic drums under a roofed area. They were regularly turned for aeration and measured for temperature, oxygen, moisture content, bulk density, carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio, and fiber tensile strength. C/N ratio is the main parameter measured as a maturity indicator for the compost. The compost temperature was above 60 °C during the thermophilic phase after the steam pre-treatment, based on the heat produced by the microbes. Steam-treated OPEFB and untreated OPEFB co-composted with chicken manure achieved the same maximum temperature of 62 °C and C/N ratios of 8.76 and 9.58, respectively. Steam pretreatment did not have significant effect when the treated OPEFB was co-composted with POME anaerobic sludge due to insufficient steam pressure at 40 psi and 140 °C. Steam-treated OPEFB and untreated OPEFB co-composted with POME anaerobic sludge achieved 54 °C and 60 °C, respectively, while the C/N ratios were 12.41 and 10.14, respectively.


Steam; Pre-treatment; Palm oil mill effluent; Oil palm empty fruit bunch; Co-composting

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