A Gate to Gate Assessment of Environmental Performance for Production of Crude Palm Kernel Oil Using Life Cycle Assessment Approach
S. Vijaya, A. N. Ma and Y. M. Choo
DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2009.267.272
American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Volume 5, Issue 3
Problem statement: The oil palm industry is an export orientated industry which heavily relies on the world market. In 2007 alone the total export earnings reached RM 45.1 billion. It is essential that the oil palm industry is ready to meet the higher expectation of its overseas customers on the environmental performance of the industry. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product or process throughout its entire life cycle. To identify the potential environmental impacts associated with the production of CPKO and to use this assessment for evaluating opportunities to overcome the potential impacts. Approach: This study had a gate to gate system boundary that starts with the collection and transportation of the palm kernel from the palm oil mills to the production of Crude Palm Kernel Oil (CPKO) at the kernel crushing plants. Six kernel crushing plants were selected to collect inventory data which consists of inputs of raw materials and energy; outputs of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes. Five crushing plants used electricity directly from the grid while one crushing plant used the electricity generated at the neighboring palm oil mill for processing. This study compared the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) of two scenarios namely; when the crushing plants uses electricity from the grid versus the crushing plant which uses electricity generated from the palm oil mill. The LCIA was conducted using the Simapro software and the Eco-Indicator 99 methodology. Results: For scenario one there was two potential impacts mainly from the electricity consumption from the grid for processing and diesel consumption for transporting the palm kernel from the mills. For scenario two, the potential impact from the electricity consumption from the grid was reduced due to the use of renewable energy from the palm oil mill and the impact from diesel consumption was reduced due to the short distance for transporting the palm kernel. Conclusion: It was recommended that more kernel crushing plants should be integrated with the palm oil mills to over come these impacts.
© 2009 S. Vijaya, A. N. Ma and Y. M. Choo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.