Prof. Erliza Hambali Highlights Innovative Use of Palm Oil-Empty Bunches to Reduce Water Absorption

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Illustration of Palm oil plantation. Photo by: Sawit Fest 2021 / Herwin Gunadi

PALMOILMAGAZINE, PADANG – Professor Erliza Hambali from Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) University provided insights on using palm oil to reduce excessive water absorption from the surrounding environment.

“One effective method is utilizing empty bunches through carbonization,” Prof. Erliza Hambali stated during a workshop titled “Palm Oil Downstream to be Oleo-food, Oleochemical and Biofuel Products: Chances and Challenges.”

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Prof. Erliza explained that empty bunches could be processed by burning them in an environmentally friendly manner to produce charcoal. This charcoal can then be spread around palm oil trees to help retain water in the soil, thereby minimizing water absorption.

Also Read: POME Enhances Fertilizer Absorption in Palm Oil Plantations

“The charcoal could resist water up to 60 to 70 percent,” Prof Erliza said, quoted from Antara, Monday (8/7/2024).

Besides it functions to resist the water, charcoal would absorp nutrients from the fertilizers that were applied around palm oil trees. By the mechanism, palm oil tree would not absorb much water.

“But it still needs further or deeper research that many universities should conduct,” she said.

Prof Erliza also emphasized it would be significant to maximize the additional values of downstream sectors to develop the economy nationally. Until now Indonesia successfully produced 100 palm oil downstream products. In the future, it should be producing more than 500 products.

To realize it, IPB University suggested to get cooperation and collaboration with many parties, namely universities in the provinces where palm oil plantations developed. (T2)

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