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Recovery of oil from palm oil mill effluent using polypropylene micro/nanofiber

Semilin, Veroneka; Janaun, Jidon; Chung, Chin Hing; Touhami, Dalila; Haywood, Stephanie K.; Chong, Khim Phin; Yaser, Abu Zahrim; Zein, Sharif H.


Veroneka Semilin

Jidon Janaun

Chin Hing Chung

Dalila Touhami

Stephanie K. Haywood

Khim Phin Chong

Abu Zahrim Yaser

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Dr Sharif Zein
Senior Fellow HEA| Reader in Biorefinery Processes and Reaction Engineering| PI of Bioref Group


Residual palm oil that goes into the river untreated can become detrimental to the environment. Residual oil discharge during milling process into palm oil mill effluent (POME) is unavoidable. About 1 wt% of residual oil in POME causes major problems to the mills, in terms of environment, wastewater treatment and economy losses. This paper reports the recovery of residual oil from POME by adsorption on polypropylene micro/nanofiber (PP-MNF) and desorption of oil by hands pressing, and oil extraction from the PP-MNF using solvent and supercritical-CO2 extraction techniques. The characterization of the PP-MNF and the quality of oil extracted were analyzed using analytical instruments. The reusability of the PP-MNF was also investigated. The experimental results showed the adsorption capacity of the PP-MNF was 28.65 g of oil/g of PP-MNF on average using refined palm oil, whilst recovery of oil from POME was 10.93 g of oil/g of PP-MNF. The extraction yield of oil from PP-MNF using hand pressing was 89.62%. The extraction of residual oil from the pressed PP-MNF showed comparable yield between solvent and supercritical CO2 techniques. The quality of recovered oil was similar with the quality of the crude oil, and no trace of polypropylene contamination was detected in the oil recovered. The PP-MNF showed no significant physical change after the extraction process. In conclusion, the PP-MNF has great potential to be used commercially in residual oil recovery from POME.


Semilin, V., Janaun, J., Chung, C. H., Touhami, D., Haywood, S. K., Chong, K. P., …Zein, S. H. (2021). Recovery of oil from palm oil mill effluent using polypropylene micro/nanofiber. Journal of hazardous materials, 404, Article 124144.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 3, 2020
Publication Date Feb 15, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 14, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Journal of Hazardous Materials
Print ISSN 0304-3894
Electronic ISSN 1873-3336
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 404
Article Number 124144
Keywords Hydrophobic; Oil recovery; Oleophilic; Micro/Nanofiber; POME; Polypropylene
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