Latest Update: Monday, 19 February 2018

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How can the BOD be maintained below the stipulated level of 20 ppm during peak crop, when the mill has to operate seven days a week?

The following methods are suggested:

a.    Increase the size of the effluent treatment ponds to cater for the increased effluent
produced during the peak. For example, if the increase in crop is 20% for a 60 tph
mill, the effluent ponds must be designed to cater for a 70 tph mill.

b.    Use a decanter or coalescence the plate separator to remove the solids in order to
reduce the BOD loading into the effluent treatment plant.

c.    For a short term solution, the addition of special cultured bacteria may also help
to accelerate the breakdown of the organic material and thus maintain the BOD at the final discharge with a lower hydraulic retention time. However, this will incur additional cost.

d.    Implement the zero discharge system. The solids may undergo a composting
process to produce organic fertilizer. The supernatant can be further treated by various technologies, such as the evaporation and condensation process. The condensed water can be demineralized and recycled for boiler usage. This will provide zero discharge system for the mills.


What is the difference between oleochemical and petrochemical surfactants?

Oleochemical surfactants, also referred to as ‘natural’ surfactants, are derived from plant oils such as palm, palm kernel or coconut oil, or from animal fats. Petrochemical surfactants are derived from crude oil and are also known as ‘synthetic’ surfactants. The surfactant industry currently uses roughly equal amounts of ‘natural’ oleochemicals and ‘synthetic’ petrochemicals.

Are oleochemical surfactants more biodegradable and less toxic?

The biodegradability of a material is related to its chemical structure and its solubility, but not its origin. Surfactants that share the same structure will biodegrade equally well, regardless of whether they are derived from oleochemical or petrochemical feedstocks.

The toxicity of a surfactant is also related to its chemical structure, not its origin. The longer the alkyl chain, the more toxic the surfactant is to aquatic organisms. This relationship only holds true as long as the surfactants are water-soluble. When the alkyl chains are too long, the surfactant becomes barely water-soluble and will appear to be less toxic because it can no longer be taken up by living organisms.

What are the services offered by AOTD?

AOTD provides a wide range of analytical and evaluation services. Our laboratories are fully equipped and our technical staff are committed in providing high quality services to satisfy client requirements. The services offered include:

a)    Efficacy Testing
b)    Biodegradation Testing
c)    Ecotoxicity Testing
d)    Analytical Testing
e)    Microbiology Testing
f)    Physical Testing
g)    Detergency Testing
h)    Hand Tactile Test for Fabric Softener
i)    Pre-marketing production


Why is the production of oil palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB) lower for independent smallholders (ISH)?

The production of FFB is lower due to a number of reasons, these being: smaller land holding, lack of capital, limited knowledge of oil palm technologies, lack of good agricultural practices (GAP) and full time oil palm growers.

How can independent smallholders (ISH) increase FFB production and income?

FFB production and income of ISH can be increased by providing assistance, training, organizing group work through cooperatives and optimizing their oil palm land through the practice of integration.

How can MPOB elevate the living status of ISH?

In September 2007, MPOB had established the Integration Research and Extension Division (IRED) to improve the living status of the ISH through extension and integration programs. Through extension programs, MPOB had recruited more than 100 extension officers (TUNAS). They are based all over the country to provide training, advisory services and implement MPOB and government programs for the ISH. IRED has also carried out extensive research on crop and livestock integration with oil palm. To date more than 20 integration technologies have been established and are ready to be adopted by the oil palm growers. These technologies will optimize oil palm land use and increase the income of oil palm growers especially the ISH.

How much of the oil palm areas in Malaysia belong to the ISH?

There were about 175,000 ISH in 2010 and they owned 681,000 ha (14%) of oil palm areas in Malaysia.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the ability to meet the demands of delivering products and services now, without compromising the future of our natural resources and the demands of future generations. (World Commission on Environment and Development. Our Common Future. (Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1987) pg8. (Frequently referred to as the Brundtland Report after Gro Harlem Brundtland, Chairman of the Commission)

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of activities by organisations and individuals on the environment. It measures the greenhouse gases (carbon emissions) produced through the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, manufacturing and transportation. It is measured in units of tonnes/ kg of carbon dioxide. (

What is a carbon sink?

A carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir that accumulates and stores some carbon-containing chemical compound for an indefinite period. (

What is carbon sequestration?

Carbon sequestration is the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) and may refer specifically to "The process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir. When carried out deliberately, this may also be referred to as carbon dioxide removal, which is a form of geoengineering. (

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