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In 2005, BTG installed a 2 t/h production plant in Malaysia, using Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) as feedstock. The plant was first constructed in modules in the Netherlands and consequently shipped to Malaysia. EFB is a leftover from palm oil mill processing, which at present is incinerated without recovering of the heat. EFB is taken directly from a nearby palm mill. EFB is pressed, shredded, dried and converted to pyrolysis oil. The heat required for drying of the EFB (65 wt.% moisture) is taken from the pyrolysis plant.
During the development of the process BTG-BTL gained a lot of experience with the “complex” feedstock EFB. EFB has a low density (80 kg/m3), it has a fibrous structure and has a low ash melting temperature (700 °C). By modifying the feeding system, it was possible to overcome the low density and fibrous structure of the feed material. By optimising the process conditions in the combustor, it was possible to prevent melting of the EFB ash.
For more background information on the technology and on BTG's experience please visit www.btgworld.com.