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Processes in the Mill

Basically, the crude coconut palm will be stored in the storage cabin before they are
being processed into the next appropriate processing methods. Before that, the
coconut palm will be conveyed to the next processing by using hydraulic system as
shown in Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1: Crude coconut on the conveyor

The coconut palm will be steamed in the steamer as shown in Figure 3.4. The
process carried out until to the stage where the coconut palms ripen and ready to be
processed for the oil pressing. The oil will be pressed by the press machine.

Figure 4.2:Coconut palm being steamed

After the oil pressing done, the fibers will be sent to the boiler to be the fuel for
the steamer (sterilizer tank) that used for the steaming process. The fibers will be
burned up to 500C where the fibers will have remained as ashes. So that, the
amount of wastes reduced since the reuse of fibers applied in these refinery
processes. The steaming process will yield wastes.

In the processing, the liquid and solid of the coconut palm will be separated.
The sludge mix tank as shown in Figure 3.5 used to sump the waste of the coconut
oil where the liquid will be sent to the oil room and the nuts will remain down. The
ripple mill used to separate the nut and its husk.

For this mill, the hydrocyclone washing drum as shown in Figure 4.4 used to
help in process of reducing the unwanted effluent dispersed out to the air. A hydro
cyclone is a device to classify, separate or sort particles in a liquid suspension based
on the densities of the particles. The hydrocyclone may be used to separate solids
from liquids or to separate liquids of different density. The hydrocyclone will normally
have a cylindrical section at the top where liquid is being fed tangentially, and a
conical base. The angle, and hence length of the conical section, plays a role in
determining operating characteristics.

Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME)

Palm Oil Mill Effluent(POME) is the waste water discharged from sterilization, crude
oil clarification, and cracked mixture separation processes containing organic matter
and plant nutrients that are excellent substitute for organic fertilizer. It is generated
mainly from oil extraction, washing and cleaning processes in the mills and consists
of water soluble components of palm fruits as well as suspended cellulosic material
like palm fiber, fat, grease and oil residues. POME is considered the most harmful
waste to the environment if discharge untreated.

POME is a thick color liquid usually discharged at temperature of between 80


and 90C containing high concentration of organic matter with COD ranging from
45,000 to 65,000 mg/L 5-day BOD 18,000 to 48,000 mg/L also oil and grease greater
than 2,000mg/L. POME is colloidal suspension of 95-96% water, 0.6%-0.7% oil and
4%-5% total solids including 2%-4% suspended solids originated from the mixture of
a sterilizer condensate, separator sludge and hydrocyclone wastewater (Ma et
al.,2000). It is an important source of inland water pollution when released into local
rivers or lakes without treatment.

POME Treatments in PPNJ Palm OIL Mill,Kahang

In the effluent treatment plant process as can be seen in Appendix A1, the processes
started with the mixed raw POME which comes from the processed palm oil. The
effluent will be treated in the anaerobic pond 1 and anaerobic pond 2 for the
hydraulic retention time of 69 days and 53 days, respectively. After that, the POME
will be treated in the facultative pond 1, facultative pond 2, and facultative pond 3 for
the hydraulic retention time of 26 days, 26 days, and 19 days, respectively.

In the anaerobic and facultative ponds, the raw POME is first converted into
volatile fatty acids by acid forming bacteria. The volatile acids are then converted into
methane and carbon dioxide. Long solid retention times allow better biodegradation
efficiencies. This is to ensure that the final pollutant levels in the effluent are within
the stipulated limits set by the Department of Environment Malaysia (DOE). There is
capability to cope with full effluent load, regardless of fluctuation. Although the
system takes a longer retention time, it is less sensitive to environment changes,
stable, efficient and could guarantee excellent pollutant biodegradation efficiency.

From the facultative pond 3, the treated POME will be stored in the holding
tank for further treatment in the reactor tank or known as Sequencing Batch Reactor
(SBR). In this tank, the utilization of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and
ammonia nitrogen, where applicable, by microorganisms are occurred.

After that, the treated POME will be stored in the treated water tank before it
will go for the water clarifier process. After the water has been clarified, it will be
stored in the clarified water tank. Before the POME being discharged to the river
bodies, it will go for filtration process which occurred in the activated carbon filtered
tank to make sure that the treated POME can be safely discharged