To Know The Potential of Palm Oil Wood

To Know The Potential of Palm Oil Wood

InfoSAWIT, BOGOR – It is undeniable that wood industries are apparent death because of the material supply from the natural woods is no more available.

In every single year it is predicted that the wood deficit could be 50 million m³. But when in 1980s the industries could produce wood up to 70 million m³/year.

The unbalance natural wood demands and the intensive planting have led the environmental issues and wood deficiency nationally. Now the wood is hard to get and some sides concerned about the wood usage.

One impact happens to the plywood industries. Many of them go to bankrupt because of the lack of material. The material substitutions, such as, steel, aluminum, plastic, and others are non-bio-degradable and make environmental issues in the future days.

The material is the important keys to develop the wood industries in Indonesia. so it needs to find the wood substitution which gets more deficit.

One example is the palm oil wood. It is the best solution as the alternative to supply the wood material nationally. “The prospect of palm oil business in the future is widely open when thee wood supply in the world is about 300 million m³ per year and the material gets rare. The big alternative in large number is palm oil wood,”  the researcher of Teknologi Kayu, Research and Development Department, Department of Forestry, Jamal Balfas said.

He thought, there are lots of advantages from palm oil wood, such as, the first is, there are lots of numbers and would increase in the future and could guarantee to its availability in the long term.

The second is the palm oil wood is solid, it is never processed commercially by any country in the world. It is unique and specific. The third is that palm oil wood could substitute the tropical wood for it is very environmental in its relation to save the tropical forests nationally and internationally.

If it is calculated, the chance of palm oil wood as the material is very big. Based on his calculation, one hectare of palm oil plantation could potentially provide 220 m³ or about 60-70 tons/hectare by assuming that there were 120 trees/hectare.

If in every single year the replanting program covers 50.000 hectares, mathematically there would be 11.000.000 m³ of palm oil wood.

As a matter of fact, palm oil wood demands are quite big. Besides fulfilling the domestic needs, the demands are from the European and Middle East countries.

“Years ago when testing the production in PT. Inhutani I, Belgium demanded in big numbers to construct thousands houses. The demands were also from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Japan,” he said.

Besides the promising markets, from its price, palm oil wood is cheaper than natural wood forest. It could be sold about Rp 200.000/ m³, while the sengon wood is about Rp 700.000/m³ (note: based on the price in 2019).

In general the palm oil wood is mostly used to the goods component in houses, such as, jamb, window, partition, and furniture. The advantages of palm oil wood are: the wood price or the cheap exploitation, has no wooden core, easy to have physical, mechanical, and chemical treatment, and the supply guarantee in the future days. If it is processed in the good treatment, it could last for about 50 years.

The disadvantages of palm oil wood are the water contents are high or could be  500%, high starch (in the parenchyma net, it could be 45%), the natural durability is so small and in the dry process, the parenchyma may be broken and the over physical damage namely in the wood within low density.

But it is found how to process the issues, that is by making special treatments, such as, mix or inject the liquid material to the palm oil wood, such as, resin. It is the chemical substance from the pine sap to perfect the characteristic of palm oil wood. Without the treatment, palm oil wood could not have further process. (T2)


Published in InfoSAWIT, June 2009


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