Economic potential of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq)
Keywords:biofuels, greenhouse gases, liquid effluents, Colombia.
The objective of this research was to highlight the economic importance of the optimal use of products and byproducts of oil palm. In Colombia, productive crops per hectare can generate, over one year, an average of 3.14 tons of oil, and up to 21.68 t of solid and liquid waste when the plant is on a productive stage. These data allowed the researcher to estimate that more than nine million of t of solid and liquid waste was produced from the 450 131 ha present in 2014, in Colombia; the produced biomass was used to generate energy and steam, releasing carbon dioxide back again into the environment. These residues have great potential in many industries, some to be developed, therefore, it is of special importance to try to maximize the use of waste produced by oil palm production, to generate economic and environmental benefits. An example of this is the palm kernel cake, with a nutritional potential in animal feed, fiber in the biocompound industry, biomass and stipe in the timber industry, glycerol, biodiesel, and liquid effluents in the chemical and biotechnological industry. The use of these raw materials may help to establish a positive balance in the cultivation of this species of oil palm in the country.
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