Advances in biofuel production from oil palm and palm oil processing wastes: A review

Document Type: Review Paper


1 Mechanical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia

2 Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, 4 Engineering Drive 4, 117575 Singapore

3 Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, 3450 University Street, Frank Dawson Adams Bldg, Montreal Quebec H3A 2A7, Canada


Over the last decades, the palm oil industry has been growing rapidly due to increasing demands for food, cosmetic, and hygienic products. Aside from producing palm oil, the industry generates a huge quantity of residues (dry and wet) which can be processed to produce biofuel. Driven by the necessity to find an alternative and renewable energy/fuel resources, numerous technologies have been developed and more are being developed to process oil-palm and palm-oil wastes into biofuel. To further develop these technologies, it is essential to understand the current stage of the industry and technology developments. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the palm oil industry, review technologies available to process oil palm and palm oil residues into biofuel, and to summarise the challenges that should be overcome for further development. The paper also discusses the research and development needs, technoeconomics, and life cycle analysis of biofuel production from oil-palm and palm-oil wastes.

Graphical Abstract

Advances in biofuel production from oil palm and palm oil processing wastes: A review


  • Technologies used for processing oil palm and palm oil wastes are reviewed.

  • Major challenge in biofuel production from oil palm wastes is remote locations of palm plantations complicating transportation and distribution.

  • Among phases in producing biofuel from oil palm wastes, oil palm plantation has the most severe environmental impacts.

  • Development of cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and profitable biofuel production technologies from oil palm wastes is required.


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