ADVANCING ON PALM OIL MILL EFFLUENT (POME) TREATMENT – WHAT IS IN STORE FOR YOU?
Poh Phaik Eong*, Sabeeha Khadaroo, Tan Hui Min, Darwin Gouwanda

Abstract
While palm oil milling has evolved over the years with mechanization and technology development, the method of treating palm oil mill effluent (POME) has remained unchanged for many years. There are inherent challenges associated to POME and issues in existing treatment process. Solutions to advance POME treatment should fulfil the 3’E’s criteria – Efficient, Ease of operability and Economically Feasible. This article introduces some approaches which were developed and tested in the laboratory to advanced POME treatment – (i) automating high-rate anaerobic digester with remote monitoring and control capabilities; (ii) thermal pre-treatment of POME with dewatering device and (iii) post-treatment of anaerobically treated POME with coagulant assisted microbubble flotation. These approaches improve the treated effluent quality significantly and can be integrated into existing plants. It is imperative that academics work closely with the industry to translate work in the laboratory to the field to benefit the palm oil mills and improve sustainability of the whole of oil palm industry.
19 October, 2020
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