Palm Kernel Shells (PKS) as Biomass ResourceSources and Benefits of Palm Kernel Shells (PKS) as a Renewable Energy Fuel.
Biomass residue from palm oil industries are attractive renewable energy fuel in Southeast Asia. The abundance of these biomass resources is increasing with the fast development of palm oil industries in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. In the Palm Oil value chain there is an overall surplus of by-products and the utilisation rate of these by-products is low.
Palm kernel shells (or PKS) are the shell fractions left over when the nut has been removed after crushing in the Palm Oil mill. Kernel shells are a fibrous material and can be easily handled in bulk directly from the product line to the end use. Large and small shell fractions are mixed with dust-like fractions and small fibres.
Moisture content in kernel shells is low compared to other biomass residues with different sources suggesting values between 11% and 13%. Palm kernel shells contain residues of Palm Oil, which accounts for its higher heating value than average lignocelluloses Biomass. Compared to other residues from the industry, it is a good quality Biomass fuel with uniform size distribution, easy handling, easy crushing, and limited biological activity due to low moisture content.
Multi-fired boilers capable of burning diesel oil, natural gas or coal are the most suitable for burning Palm Kernel Shells (PKS) as a supplementary fuel. However, there is a great scope for introduction of PKS for high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) systems in the industry which will result in substantial supply of excess power to the public grid.