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2020 Analysis Of The Malaysia EFB Pellet Market

Date: 07/10/2020 08:45:56 From: Clicks:

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With the continuous reduction of fossil energy in the world, finding new energy to replace fossil energy is an urgent task. Biomass energy is a kind of new energy. Wood pellet fuel in biomass energy occupies most of the country. In Malaysia, the available wood raw materials are not as much as oil palm.

Malaysia EFB
Malaysia EFB

With 39% of global production, Malaysia is the world’s second largest palm oil producer. Of an estimated 168 million tonnes of biomass residues generated annually, around 94 percent is from the palm oil sector. According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Malaysia has just over 5.2 million hectares (2013) of land currently under oil palm cultivation, about 16 percent of the country’s land area. The palm oil industry generates an abundant amount of by-products, the tending, maintenance and restocking of the plantations and especially from palm oil processing. And one of the important by-products is EFB fiber.

Malaysia is well known for oil palm agriculture, and it is a world leading in oil palm plantation and crude palm oil production. EFB fiber is the discard by-product for the crude palm oil process industry. There are plenty of biomass materials in Malaysia which can be used to replace the fossil fuel. Main biomass materials available in Malaysia are as follows:

In 2005, 7,599, 000 ha oil palm was harvested in Asia totally and with 146,093,000 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches and 10224000 tonnes of EFBS produced.

  Oil palm harvested area Fresh fruit bunches Empty fruit bunches estimated amount
  *1.000 ha % in Asia *1.000 tonnes % in Asia *1.000 tonnes
Malaysia 3620 47.6 75650 51.8 5296
Indonesia 3600 47.4 64255 44.0 4498
Thailand 315 4.1 5250 3.6 368
Philippines 17 0.2 233 0.2 16
China 47 0.6 675 0.5 47
Asia Total 7599(60.3% of world total) 100.0 146063( 84.2% of world total) 100.0 10224( 84.2% of world total)

EFB fiber is the cheapest compared with wood chips and sawdust. Besides, it reduces biomass energy’s dependence on forest resource. Rice husk is a seasonal residue, while Empty Fruit Bunches ( EFB ) is a less seasonal and more abundantly available source of biomass in Malaysia. EFB fiber comes from the stripping of oil palm fruits in the oil extraction process at the oil mill. EFB’s have about 30 percent solid content of which about 2/3 are fibrous and the remaining 1/3 are soft parenchyma tissues which cement the fiber together. What’s more, most abundant biomass source in Malaysia is from oil palm and conducted some research with EFB’s. Therefore, the skill of making EFB pellets is rather mature in Malaysia.

There are six types of oil palm biomass, which can be produced to biomass pellets: oil palm fronds (OPF), oil palm trunks (OPT), empty fruit bunches (EFB), palm kernel shells (PKS), mesocarp fibre (MF) and oil palm mill effluent. The different oil palm biomass types have different costs.

There are six types of oil palm biomass,
There are six types of oil palm biomass

Why Make EFB Pellets?

EFB Pellets VS EFB Fiber

Compared with EFB pellets, EFB fiber has many deficiencies, such as: bulky in volume, high moisture and low net calorific value, etc, but EFB pellet has no such problem. EFB pellet is a reliable biofuel resource, which is easy to transport, store and use. What’s more EFB pellet has high density and high combustion value, and it releases more energy when burning. One of the key factors is different moisture contents.

Shredded EFB fiber usually contains about 60% moisture, having a gross calorific value at 3200kcal/kg. After considering the 60% moisture level, the net calorific value for shredded EFB fibre drop to 960kcal/kg. However, the EFB pellet usually contains about 10% moisture, having a gross calorific value of 4900kcal/kg. The net calorific value for EFB pellet is 4070kcal/kg.

In actual biomass boiler heating process, it is noticed that only 960kcal/kg of heat energy will transfer to the heating process, other 2240kcal/kg has been consumed because of the moisture level. In other words, there is 70% of heat energy lost due to the moisture. From this example, we can get the reason why the biomass boiler or factory owner request lower moisture level. Perhaps the 70% lost is solely from the substance heat energy stand point, it also imply a substantial portion of the transportation cost has been consume by the unwanted moisture.

EFB Pellets VS Wood Pellets

As we all know, wood pellets as the primary biomass energy, have dominated the biomass pellets market for the past few years. Compared with wood pellets, EFB pellets are more widely used in industrial boilers, while wood pellets are still the best choice for house heating users. This is because household biomass boiler is more demanding than industrial biomass boiler.

EFB Pellet’s Main Application

EFB pellet production

Various of EFB pellets can be made based on the different requirements of the consumers. On investing EFB biomass pellet production, the following suggestions from successful EFB pellet plant investors should be considered:

Overall understanding of EFB pellet production line is necessary.

EFB pellet production procedures should meet the requirement of target markets.

Raw materials should be sufficient and should ensure the continuity of pellet production.

Quality of the raw materials should guaranteed. Raw materials with moisture content of 15%, is ideal while when it goes upper than 15%, the raw materials should be dried.

Location of the EFB pellet plant should be convenient for raw materials transportation.

A feasible survey is necessary to be conducted beforehand.

As for a typical EFB pellet production, it should consisted of EFBs shredding, drying, grinding, pelletizing, cooling, sieving, dust recycling and packing. The flowchart of the EFB pelletizing procedures are showing in the below picture.

Usually, in an entire EFB production line the following equipment are involved:

Electric cabinet( to control equipment in the whole EFB production line)

EFB shredder(to get EFB biomass into proper size for dryer)

Dryer(to get the moisture content ready for pelletizing)

Hammer mill ( to grind the proper sized and dried materials into power for pelletizing)

EFB pellet machine( to pelletize the prepared materials into pellets)

Cooler( to cooler down the newly extruded hot pellets and hard the pellets)

Packing machine( to bag EFB pellets according to requirements).

EFB Pellet’s Advantages

EFB pellet has low moisture in nature. The moisture of EFB pellets is about 8-12%, while the EFB fiber’s moisture always hit between 50-60%. Thanks to the low moisture content, the transport cost of EFB pellets saves substantially as a large portion of moisture is eliminated.

EFB pellet has high heating energy and efficiency. EFB fiber is compressed into EFB pellets in EFB pellet mill, thus EFB pellets have high density. Besides, dry EFB pellet also means the burning condition is more effective and user is able to retrieve better efficiency and predictable result. EFB pellet is able to burn thoroughly in the boiler chamber and only 5% substance left over as ash content.

EFB pellet is easy to transport, handle and store. EFB fiber always comes in bulk, but EFB pellets can have uniform shape and be packed in bags, which makes EFB pellet easy to transport and handle. Moreover, due to EFB pellets’ high density and low moisture content, EFB pellets can be stored for a long time without decreasing its combustion value or burning efficiency.

EFB pellet enjoys easy control and broad application. EFB pellet size is small in dimension and easy for repack if house-hold application is needed. Some of EFB pellets can be repacked into convenient bag size in order selling to end user for BBQ burning substance. EFB pellet usually comes in 8mm diameter and length about 20-30mm, and this is a suitable dimension for most of the boiler input grate.

EFB pellet generate low to no smoke during the combustion. As we all know, air pollution becomes one of hot topics which people pay a lot attention to. EFB pellet as clean and sustainable energy generates no smoke or fume during its combustion process, consequently EFB pellet has very minimum particulate being discharged into air.

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