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Green palm oil production

February 19, 2010

Using the fruits and rotting waste of palm trees, a Thai factory makes the most of palm oil.

palm oil plantation (Source: dpa)
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Green palm oil production

The stinking lagoons behind the small palm oil mill near Krabi pose a major threat to the climate. They release methane, a highly toxic greenhouse gas which contaminates the ground water in the area and pollutes the air. That's because the lagoons contain rotting waste from the palm fruit from which only the oil is extracted.

But a few kilometers away, the Chumpon Palm Oil Industry (CPI) has hit on a new way to deal with the fruit pulp. Here, in addition to extracting palm oil, the fruit waste is used to produce biogas and generate electricity. The biogas plant can generate up to 10 megawatts of electricity as well as treat and clean its own sewage. Thailand already has six of the climate-friendly plants.

A film by Holger Trzeczak