Palm oil empty fruit bunches is a potential and abundant agricultural waste. The solid waste of empty palm oil fruit bunches  can be used as fertilizer for plants, especially for the palm oil plant itself. palm oil as well as to see a comparison of the cost value of palm oil farmers in using empty fruit bunches and chemical fertilizers.

Keywords: Palm oil Empty Bunch, Palm Oil Factory, Chemical Fertilizer


 Palm oil (elaeis guinensis jacq) is one of the leading commodities in the plantation sector which has various benefits and is the most produced in Indonesia (Masykur 2013). Palm oil mills (PKS) in addition to producing crude palm oil (CPO) also produce waste, both solid waste and liquid waste. The solid waste itself is in the form of empty palm oil bunches (EFB), from 1 ton of palm oil it can produce waste consisting of 22-23% or 220-230 kg of empty fruit bunches, while other waste in the form of shells is as much as 6.5 % or 65 kg, palm sludge (wet decanter solid) as much as 4% or 40 kg, fiber (fiber) 13% or 130 kg and liquid waste as much as 50% (Mandiri, 2012). Palm oil waste can be processed and used for various things, especially solid waste in the form of empty palm oil fruit bunches. This palm oil solid waste can be used as plant fertilizer, especially the palm oil plant itself. This is also to deal with the waste produced by PKS which is processed into fertilizer, this is done to overcome the buildup of waste that occurs.

Palm oil

Palm oil plantations are spread throughout the tropics, especially in areas located between 15o north latitude to 15o south latitude with an average temperature of 24oC to 30oC, where temperature fluctuations are less than 10oC. Palm oil plants require topography in the form of a sloping plain, with a height of up to about 500 meters above sea level, soil pH around 4 – 6. The required rainfall ranges from 2000mm to 3000mm per year. Palm oil can grow upright to a height of between 15 meters – 20 meters.

Palm oil plantations (Elaeis Guinensis Jacq)

Indonesian palm oil plantations are developing in 22 out of 33 provinces in Indonesia. The two main islands that are centers of palm oil plantations in Indonesia are Sumatra and Kalimantan. About 90% of palm oil plantations in Indonesia are located on these two palm oil islands, and these two islands produce 95% of Indonesia’s crude palm oil (CPO) production (Purba and Sipayung 2017). Nugroho (2019) stated that the palm oil fruit basically consists of four main parts, namely exocarp, mesocarp, endocarp, and endosperm. The exocarp is the outermost part of the palm oil fruit in the form of smooth-textured and orange-red fruit skin on ripe fruit. The mesocarp is an important part of the palm oil fruit, because this is where most of the oil (CPO) is stored, this part is the flesh of the fruit which is fibrous and bright yellow in color. Meanwhile, the endocarp is the deeper part after the mesocarp which is in the form of a shell or shell that protects the inner part in the form of the palm kernel or kernel (endosperm). It is in this kernel that the palm embryo is located, which is the part that produces palm kernel oil (PKO). Palm Oil Industry Processing of fresh fruit bunches in the industry aims to obtain good quality palm oil (CPO). FFB from the harvest must be immediately transported to the industry for further processing, because the fatty acid content in fruit that is not processed immediately will increase. To avoid this, FFB must be processed a maximum of eight hours after harvest. The development of the palm oil industry apart from being beneficial in the economic field, this industry also produces large amounts of waste (Ji et al. 2013). The processing of palm oil produces solid, liquid and gas waste. The waste generated from the processing process will have a negative impact on the environment, both the quantity of natural resources, the quality of natural resources, and the environment (Susilawati and Supijatno 2012). Solid waste generated includes waste of empty fruit bunches, shells or fiber, boiler ash, solid decanter, loading ramp and shell waste. Liquid waste is the residue from the process of making palm oil in liquid form called POME (palm oil mills effluent). Meanwhile, the waste gas comes from palm oil mill exhaust gas in the CPO production process. Environmental problems have become global issues, including in the palm oil industry. It is estimated that palm oil mills have created environmental problems because of the large amount of polluted waste materials that are discharged into the environment (Roslan et al., 2014).

Solid waste

 The type of palm oil waste in the first generation is solid waste consisting of empty fruit bunches, fronds, shells and others. The potential of this waste has a lot of economic value, one of which is that it can be used as a nutrient that can replace artificial fertilizers. OPEFB waste is solid waste which is quite large, namely around 6 million tonnes, but its utilization is still limited. So far, this waste has been burned and partly scattered in the field as mulch (Ditjen PPHP, 2006). One of the uses of waste from palm oil mills is as fertilizer. The by-products of the palm oil plantation industry can all be utilized if industry players are able to manage them properly. Empty palm fruit bunches have a chemical composition of 45.95% cellulose, 22.84% hemicellulose, 16.49% lignin, 2.41% oil, and 1.23% ash. So far, the use of empty palm fruit bunches is very limited, namely open dumping and burning in incinerators (Firmansyah, 2011). Composting tankos is one of the efforts to reduce PKS waste. The resulting tankos compost is used to add organic matter needed by ultisol soil so that it can be utilized in the process of plant cultivation. Okalia, Nopsagiarti, and Ezward (2018), reported that a good tankos compost size is <10 cm, which is composted for 3 months using Trichoderma. Sarwono (2008) reported that the use of tankos compost can reduce the use of inorganic fertilizers by up to 60%. Bornsin, Minwal, and Gusmiatun (2017) reported that a 450 gram tankos compost mixed with 2 grams of Urea resulted in the best growth of palm oil seedlings in the pre nursery. Amri, Armaini, and Purba (2018), explained that the combination of tankos compost and dolomite showed better vegetative growth and root growth of palm oil seedlings in the main nursery.


Based on the results of the Literature study, palm oil fruit bunches is one of the wastes from the processing of palm oil factories which is quite abundant and if it is not processed it will pollute the environment. Utilization of palm oil fruit bunches as organic fertilizer is a very good alternative in preventing environmental pollution. palm oil fruit bunches is effective enough to be used as organic fertilizer because it contains 45.95% cellulose, 22.84% hemicellulose, 16.49% lignin, 2.41% oil, and 1.23% ash. As well as palm oil fruit bunches very easy to get at a cheaper price than chemical fertilizers. However, a literature review that I did found a weakness in the use of palm oil fruit bunches as organic fertilizer.


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Masykur. 2013. Pengembangan Industri Kelapa Sawit Sebagai Penghasil Energi Bahan Bakar Alternatif dan Mengurangi Pemanasan Global (Studi di Riau Sebagai Penghasil Kelapa Sawit Terbesar di Indonesia). J Reform. 3(2):96-107

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