It is fair to say that oil palm is a plant with many benefits and almost all parts of it can be processed. Such as palm kernel shell or pke palm kernel expeller. Even the waste from the processing, such as oil palm fiber with plenty of benefits. Palm oil waste generated from processing palm fruit squeezes during the pressing process. Generally, the fiber from palm oil is short, like thread and brownish-yellow in color. This processed waste in each ton of palm oil can produce palm fiber of about 12% – 13% or as much as 120 kg – 130 kg.
That’s a big number if it’s just left without being used optimally. Palm fiber contains organic matter and has a crumb-like texture. These two characteristics are very suitable for planting media, especially for vegetables with a short growing period. This waste does not end up as waste but becomes a productive product. Vegetable cultivation with the use of fiber is not only beneficial for household scale but also has the potential to make money. Of course, this will be an effort to utilize environmentally friendly elements.
Furthermore, here are some of the benefits oil palm fiber used today.
– As an alternative to biomass energy, diesel and coal fuels for steam power plants.
– The pulp industry uses it as one of the main materials.
– In the agricultural sector, these ingredients are used to increase soil fertility.
– As a medium to reduce the content of BOD, COD, and TSS in liquid waste.
– As a reinforcing material for the mechanical properties of glass fiber composites (although this use is still in the research and development stage).
Every country needs the commitment to turn this waste into energy or high-value products. Therefore, any research and development of this waste needs support from many parties. The potential of this oil palm fiber is high if there is optimal effort, including the use of technology. Many positive impacts, in addition to producing renewable energy, also reduce environmental pollution.