Oil palm is grown on a large scale as a commercial crop in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, and the palm oil extracted from oil palm fruits, is widely used as a raw material for cooking oil and detergents. After the harvesting season is over, the oil palm trunks are left in plantations to decompose. This process emits greenhouse gases including methane gas, which is considered a problem.
JIRCAS has been conducting research on the utilization of oil palm trunks (OPT), and based on the results of this research, is now promoting the project “Sustainable replantation of oil palm by adding value to oil palm trunk through scientific and technological innovation” under SATREPS, a JST and JICA program for research projects targeting global issues. In this project, we have successfully developed high-quality, carbon-neutral palm trunk pellets in collaboration with IHI Corporation, a joint research member.
Panasonic Corporation, another joint research member of this SATREPS project, has succeeded in materializing palm trunk pellets using new technology, and has decided to use "PALM LOOP" as the common global name for the pellets to be used in the furniture manufacturing market.
With the global depletion of wood resources becoming increasingly serious, recycled wood board derived from unused resources such as OPT, not only helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also provide a high utility value substitute for conventional wood board.
Recycled wood boards produced from these palm trunk pellets will be processed by furniture manufacturers as "PALM LOOP” boards, and furniture using these boards will be labeled with the "PALM LOOP" logo to promote the fact that it is an environmentally friendly material.
The furniture market is growing year by year, especially in Asia, and we plan to expand our business not only in Japan but also in overseas markets and other areas.
The SATREPS project promoted by JIRCAS will continue to pursue collaboration and technological synergies with private companies and government agencies, including research institutes in palm oil producing countries. Through research on the utilization of biomass resources such as palm trunks and coconut shells, we will promote efforts to improve the global environment as well as to shift to sustainable palm oil production.
SATREPS Project: Sustainable replantation of oil palm by adding value to oil palm trunk through scientific and technological innovation