Green Energy

Palm Kernel Shell

Biomass residue from palm oil industries is the attractive renewable energy fuel in Southeast Asia. The abundance of these biomass resources is increasing with the fast development of palm oil industries in Indonesia. In the Palm Oil value chain there is an overall surplus of by-products and the utilization rate of these by-products is low.

Palm Kernel Shells (or PKS) are the shell fractions left after the nut has been removed after crushing in the Palm Oil mill. Kernel Shells are a fibrous material and can be easily handled in bulk directly from the product line to the end use. Large and small shell fractions are mixed with dust-like fractions and small fibers.

Moisture content in kernel shells is low compared to other biomass residues with different sources suggesting values between 11% and 13%. Palm Kernel Shells contain residues of Palm Oil, which accounts for its slightly higher heating value than average lignocellulosic biomass. Compared to other residues from the industry, it is a good quality biomass fuel with uniform size distribution, easy handling, easy crushing, and limited biological activity due to low moisture content.

Palm Kernel Shell has become one of the most valuable commodity in palm oil industry, many usage or application has been developed. Due to high calorific value of palm kernel shell, this commodity has been one of the key biomass material in order to replace fossil fuel for steam power plant, however due to more and more study conducted, it value has been elevated.

A more advance study has carried out at university, the research reveals the advantage of palm kernel shell as partial replacement for coarse aggregate in asphalt concrete. Palm Kernel Shell can be considered as a pellet form because of it’s nature form, due to its high grade solid, high calorific value, low ash and low sulfur content. From biomass aspect, the calorific value of gar 3400 – 4000 and solid form has become one of the most favorable biomass media. It always mixes with EFB fiber in a certain ratio to burn in the biomass boiler.