Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 28  September 2016 p.  359-365



The Malaysian oil palm industry is one of the major economic backbones of the country. The industry as a whole brought in an export revenue of RM 63 billion just in the year 2015. In the past, the competiveness of palm products along the supply chain was based on direct economic comparison with other vegetable oil products. However, with increasing attention on sustainable development, the environmental performance of products are now defining issues in trade. This articles presents the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the production of crude palm kernel oil (CPKO). Crude palm oil (CPO) and CPKO both come from the oil palm fresh fruit bunch (FFB). CPO is obtained from the mesocarp of the fruit and the lauric CPKO comes from the kernel at the fruit’s core. CPO is produced in the palm oil mill while palm kernels which are the by-product of the production of CPO are transported to kernel crushing plants to be processed into CPKO. The objectives of this study are to quantify the GHG emissions for the production of CPKO and suggest the best solution to reduce the emissions if any. The system boundary starts from the production of oil palm seedlings at the nursery stage right till the production of CPKO at the kernel crushing plant which makes it a cradle to gate study. Inventory data for the production of CPKO was collected from 24 crushing plants which were located near the ports and two kernel crushing plants which were integrated with a palm oil mill. Weight allocation was performed at the kernel crushing plant. The largest GHG contribution came from upstream nursery and plantation with continued land use which amounts to 394.19 kg CO2 eq/t CPKO followed by emissions from biogas at the palm oil mill which amounts to 87.48 kg CO2 eq/t CPKO even though the scenario chosen is the biogas capture scenario. The third largest GHG emissions comes from the kernel crushing plant due to the processing of CPKO using the electricity from the grid which emits 74.33 kg CO2 eq/t CPKO. The GHG emissions from the consumption of electricity from the grid of the kernel crushing plant integrated with a palm oil mill reduced to only 7.59 kg CO2 eq/t CPKO. A sensitivity analysis on allocation was conducted. With weight allocation, the burden on CPKO was reduced compared to when economic allocation was conducted, where almost the whole burden was on CPKO. The allocation parameter seems to change the outcome of the study drastically because the volume of the palm kernel cake which is the by-product at the kernel crushing plant is high but has low economic value.


Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.

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