Technical polygeneration potential in palm oil mills in Colombia: A case study

Marianne Salomón, Maria Fernanda Gomez, Andrew Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Agricultural residues offer the possibility of reducing fossil fuel consumption, increasing energy security, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. However, certain residues, like palm oil residues, either represent a disposal problem for the processing industries or they are not used and thus, there is a considerable potential for improvement. These factors represent a strong driving force for the development of innovative polygeneration plants based on solid residues. This paper considers an energy analysis of a palm oil mill (POM) in Colombia processing 30. ton of fresh fruit bunch per hour (FFB/h). Different heat and power generation options were considered with solid residues as feedstock. These configurations included steam cycles using backpressure or condensing-extraction turbines. The possibilities to produce pellets from the residues and biodiesel from palm oil were also analyzed. The steam cycle base operational parameters were 20. bar and 350°C. More advanced steam conditions (40. bar) were also considered. The results show that it is possible to cover the demand of the POM and the required energy demand for residues preparation including possible pelletization and also biodiesel production. It is possible to obtain an excess of electricity between 0.4 and 3. MW if only residues are used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalSustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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