Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 28  March 2016 p.  104-113
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2016.2801.12

ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE OF PALM-BASED METHYL ESTER SULPHONATES PRODUCTION USING LIFE CYCLE APPROACH

Author(s): NOORAZAH ZOLKARNAIN*; ZULINA ABD MAURAD*; RAZMAH, G and HAZIMAH, A H*

Palm-based methyl ester sulphonates (MES) derived from palm oil through sulphonation process offer an interesting alternative to petroleum-based surfactants. This study was carried out to identify any potential environmental impacts that could be associated with the production of palm-based MES. Data on pilot plant production were obtained from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)’s MES pilot plant with 20 kg hr-1 capacity. Life cycle assessment (LCA) performance was based on representative inventory data of MES processes for three years of production. The results were analysed using Eco-indicator 99 methodology operated under SimaPro version 8.0.2 software. The single score results showed that the main impact contributors for MES production at pilot plant scale were from production of methyl ester, steam and methanol. Based on weighted score, the most significant impact categories from this production were fossil fuels, respiratory inorganics and climate change. However, there was no significant impact value on land use category since this study was conducted with best management practices in oil palm plantation in Malaysia. From this study, it can be concluded that the production of MES at pilot plant using the best approach used in the oil palm industry are more sustainable and environmental-friendly.

Keywords: , , , , ,

Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia E-mail: azah@mpob.gov.my


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