Palm Oil Engineering Bulletin No.119 (Apr - Jun 2016) p19-26
Rapid Composting of Oil Palm Biomass by using Aerobic Thermophilic Composter
Nahrul Hayawin, Z*, Astimar, A A*, Ropandi, M*, Nor Faizah, J* and Hamid, F A*

evelopment of a suitable technology for rapid composting of oil palm biomass, especially the abundant empty fruit bunch (EFB) from palm oil mills is very crucial for the industry in order to make composting viable and effective for easy evacuation. Many parameters are involved for the success of rapid composting, and one of the real challenge is to ensure the sustainability of the indigenous composting micro-organisms. In order to pursue this research within the narrow spectrum of limited supporting facilities composting time and quality of compost formed from EFB, palm oil mill effluent (POME) and decanter cake had to be subjected to a thorough investigation using a large scale aerobic thermophilic composter. The compost mixtures were conducted in a 1.7 m x 1.6 m x 3.3 m stainless steel aerobic thermophilic composting reactor. The raw composting mixture having a wet weight of 80 kg per batch were placed in the reactor. Results indicated that the composting period of EFB with decanter cake can be shortened to three weeks. The mean temperature profile of Run I was marginally higher than Run II (with POME) by 3ºC- 7ºC but the moisture content showed marked increase ranging between 17%-50%. The C:N ratio of the final compost the Run was 12.09 within a period of three weeks. Therefore, our results suggest that it would be possible to accelerate the compost production using aerobic thermophilic composter for the oil palm industry as a sustainable option for managing the oil palm biomass without requiring an additional maturation stage.

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