EPFL researchers look at oil palm waste for biorefinery opportunities

In Switzerland,  researchers from EPFL show agricultural residues from Brazilian oil palm plantations, can be used to produce bioethanol and two additional end products: furfural, a much-used industrial compound, and lignin, a solid fuel that can be used in the biorefinery.  For this particular study, they characterized the composition of the empty fruit bunches and optimized the chemical processes for their transformation. These data will feed into an assessment of the environmental impact and economic cost that such a biorefinery would have.

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