Bioresource technology

Pretreatment of oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) by N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO) for biogas production: structural changes and digestion improvement.

PMID 23201529


Pretreatment of OPEFB (oil palm empty fruit bunch) by NMMO (N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide) on its subsequent digestions was investigated. The pretreatments were carried out at 90 and 120 °C for 1, 3, and 5h in three different modes of dissolution (by 85% NMMO solution), ballooning (79% NMMO solution), and swelling (73% NMMO solution). The total solid recovery after the pretreatment was 89-94%. The pretreatment process did not have a major impact on the composition of OPEFB, other than a reduction of ash from 5.4% up to 1.3%. The best improvement in biogas production was achieved by a dissolution mode pretreatment of OPEFB, using conditions of 85% NMMO, 3h, and 120 °C. It resulted in 0.408 Nm(3)/kg VS methane yield and 0.032 Nm(3)CH(4)/kg VS/day initial methane production rate, which correspond in improving by 48% and 167% compared to the untreated OPEFB, respectively.

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