Palm Oil Mill Effluent Biogas plant
The Palm Oil Mill Effluent Biogas plant, which forms part of the QL Zero-waste Renewable Energy Oil Mill programme, was developed to treat Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME), a waste by-product of the milling process. By treating POME, three core objectives are achieved: we reduce the carbon footprint of our oil palm mills, minimise local environmental impact and generate renewable energy for our own use.
Traditional open lagoon treatment of POME – a waste byproduct of the milling process – emits high levels of biogas,
containing methane, into the atmosphere. Innovation is at the heart of the project, whereby a team of engineers constructed a biogas plant designed to ferment and treat POME, capturing its biogas emissions, consisting mainly of methane, and converting this into green power. The digestate from the biogas plant is dewatered and can be processed into organic fertilizer, while the liquid portion goes through secondary and tertiary water treatment to maximise the water treatment effectiveness.
The plant has the capacity to treat 50 MT of POME per hour. Up to 2 megawatts (MW) of power is generated each hour. Given that many palm oil mills in Malaysia, including QL’s, are located off the power grid, the Palm Oil Mill Effluent Biogas plant enables QL to produce the power needed to operate the Palm Biomass Pellet Biofuel Project (details mentioned in ‘Market Place’). The project results include:
The project results include:
- A more holistic and effective POME (Palm Oil Mill Effluent) treatment which results in cleaner effluent discharge, which is less damaging to the environment
- A reduction in methane emissions (Green House Gas) by approximately 40,000MT carbon emission reduction (CER) per year
- The production of 2 Megawatts (MW) of renewable power for part of our operations
Chicken Manure Biogas Renewable Energy project
In FY2012, we expanded our environmental CR further into our integrated livestock farming sector by developing the Chicken Manure Biogas Renewable Energy project in one of our poultry farms. It shares similar aspirations to the Palm Oil Mill Effluent Biogas plant, whereby waste – in this case chicken manure – will be processed in a biogas plant. The plant is being built at a chicken layer farm in Pajam and, once fully implemented, it will benefit the environment by minimising the odours of the farm’s daily chicken manure, while generating up to 500 KW of green electrical power in the process.
The anaerobic digestion process takes place in air-tight digester tanks, which eliminate any odour emissions associated with chicken manure fermentation. The fermented biogas produced is scrubbed and piped to gas engines for power generation. The digestate from the biogas plant is dewatered and can be processed into organic fertilizer, while the liquid portion is treated through a reed bed system so that the water can be recycled. Thus, there is minimal discharge of wastewater and fermented ammonia. As a result, the project directly benefits the communities which live close to the plant , while also minimising the environmental footprint of our operations.