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The First Industrial-Scale Commercially Viable & Environmentally Sensitive System For Empty Fruit Bunch Waste Disposal

Project description

Environmentally friendly disposal of palm oil production waste

The palm oil production industry generates 60 M tonnes of waste as empty fruit baskets annually. The land dumping of empty baskets causes decomposition with high levels of methane emission and water pollution, while incineration disposal was banned completely as a major contributor to global CO2 emission. AutoDisplay GmbH developed enzyme technology that can prevent the environmental damage caused by empty fruit basket dumping. This EU-funded project supports the effort to incorporate this innovative technology into the growing palm oil production industry as a necessary step for conversion to self-sufficient and environmentally responsible biorefinery processing.


AutoDisplay GmbH is a German SME that is using its designer enzyme technology MATE to combat the environmental crisis caused by empty fruit basket (EFB) dumping within the palm oil production sector. By allowing the design of re-usable enzyme blends for specific biomasses allows palm oil biorefinery operators to comply with environmental regulations, as well as the demand for environmentally sustainable products from their clients.
60M tonnes of EFB waste is generated annually by the growing palm oil production sector. EFB disposal through incineration has been banned since 1996 as it was emitting 500M tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, contributing 1.4% of global net CO2 emissions. This increased land dumping of EFB whose decomposition causes high levels of methane emissions and water table pollution. Due to the lack of commercial and political incentives, R&D of biomass industrial enzyme technologies has been directed to starchy biomass feedstocks. Thus, no specific enzyme technology has been developed for the treatment of the specific fibrous structure and high lignin content of EFB, which makes it recalcitrant to currently available enzyme treatments at an industrial scale.
With our MATE technology we have a unique advantage within the growing €58B palm oil market that is supplied from 782 palm oil mills globally. By incorporating the MATE technology within a full Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) package we can offer a turn-key product for palm mills owners seeking to re-engineer, or build from scratch, a self-sufficient and environmentally friendly palm oil biorefinery. The MATE system allows (i) savings upward of 60% of enzyme costs for EFB processing, (ii) compliance with environmental legislations and consumer sensitivities regarding EFB waste treatment, as well as (iii) opening up a new revenue channel for the sale of the 2nd generation sugars produced by the MATE saccharification of EFB worth potentially €5.5B globally.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00