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Cleaner production in palm oil industry, Sri Lanka

By N. Ratnayake and H.M. Weerasekara

Abstract

Oil palm was introduced to Sri Lanka from Malaysia in late nineteen sixties. As of now it has spread over 10,000 acres of the southern part of the Island. However the country does have only one palm oil mill processing over 19,000 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches annually. To fulfil the main objective of developing cleaner production options for the factory operations, a walk-through audit was carried out followed by a detail audit considering each and every process step of the factory. Detailed assessments were conducted in areas including material handling & consumption and waste generation with their characteristics. Electrical & thermal energy utilisation was analysed in detail to evaluate the current operational efficiencies and methods to minimise the losses. Energy and material balances were done in calculating actual process requirements and estimating existing losses. Technical feasibility, financial viability and environmental sustainability were the main evaluating criteria of selecting the key options. Results revealed that there were electrical and thermal energy utilisation inefficiencies, possibilities of reduction of material wastage and producing by-products from waste. It was identified that by making simple changes to the existing handling systems the product losses could be minimized and at the same time final product quality could be improved, making the operation more profitable. In addition, additional income from by-products will enhance the economic viability of implementing the selected cleaner production options

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:localhost:123/9656
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