This study provides insight into the decolorization strategy for crude glycerol obtained from biodiesel production using waste cooking oil as raw material. A sequential procedure that includes physico-chemical treatment and adsorption using activated carbon from oil palm biomass was investigated. The results evidenced decolorization and enrichment of glycerol go hand in hand during the treatment, achieving >89% color removal and > 98% increase in glycerol content, turning the glycerol into a clear (colorless) solution. This is attributed to the complete removal of methanol, free fatty acids, and triglycerides, as well as 85% removal of water, and 93% removal of potassium. Properties of the resultant glycerol met the quality standard of BS 2621:1979. The economic aspects of the proposed methods are examined to fully construct a predesign budgetary estimation according to chemical engineering principles. The starting capital is proportionate to the number of physical assets to acquire where both entail a considerable cost at USD 13,200. Having the benefit of sizeable scale production, it reasonably reduces the operating cost per unit product. As productivity sets at 33 m3 per annum, the annual operating costs amount to USD 79,902 in glycerol decolorization. This is translatable to USD 5.38 per liter glycerol, which is ~69% lower compared to using commercial activated carbon.
Oil palm biomass is widely known for its potential as a renewable resource for various value-added products due to its lignocellulosic content and availability. Oil palm biomass biorefinery is an industry that comes with sociopolitical benefits through job opportunities, as well as potential environmental benefits. Many studies have been conducted on the technological advancements of oil-palm biomass-derived renewable materials, which are discussed comprehensively in this review. Recent technological developments have made it possible to bring new and innovative technologies to commercialization, such as compost, biocharcoal, biocomposites, and bioplastics.
In order to meet the growing demand for adsorbents to treat wastewater effectively, there has been increased interest in using sustainable biomass feedstocks. In this present study, the dermal tissue of oil palm frond was pyrolyzed with superheated steam at 500 °C to produce nanoporous biochar as bioadsorbent. The effect of operating conditions was investigated to understand the adsorption mechanism and to enhance the adsorption of phenol and tannic acid. The biochar had a microporous structure with a Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area of 422 m2/g containing low polar groups. The adsorption capacity of 62.89 mg/g for phenol and 67.41 mg/g for tannic acid were obtained using 3 g/L biochar dosage after 8 h of treatment at solution pH of 6.5 and temperature of 45 °C. The Freundlich model had the best fit to the isotherm data of phenol (R2 of 0.9863), while the Langmuir model best elucidated the isotherm data of tannic acid (R2 of 0.9632). These indicated that the biochar-phenol interface was associated with a heterogeneous multilayer sorption mechanism, while the biochar-tannic acid interface had a nonspecific monolayer sorption mechanism. The residual concentration of 26.3 mg/L phenol and 23.1 mg/L tannic acid was achieved when treated from 260 mg/L three times consecutively with 1 g/L biochar dosage, compared to a reduction to 72.3 mg/L phenol and 69.9 mg/L tannic acid using 3 g/L biochar dosage in a single treatment. The biochar exhibited effective adsorption of phenol and tannic acid, making it possible to treat effluents that contain varieties of phenolic compounds.