We will convert POME into valuable materials with algae.
Thus, we changed the title from POME to ByLPO.
As the largest palm oil producing country in the world, Indonesia has more than 875 palm oil production plantations. These plantations discharge a large amount of POME (Palm Oil Mill Effluents) exceeding to 455,000MT (m3) per day. The high value of BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) derived from POME has become a hotbed for water pollution and greenhouse gas emission such as methane gas. Although a number of investigations and several solutions have been proposed, countermeasures have been made since 2000, unfortunately, an effective and realistic solution has not yet been found.
We focused on microalgae as a means to solve it.
Waste liquid from the palm oil production plant is a nutrient source necessary for the growth of algae. The utilization of algae reduces BOD level and improves water quality. In addition, DHA-containing oils extracted from algae will bring new additional value.
We distinguished the POME discharged from the palm oil to be more than liquid waste, it becomes an immeasurable ingredient in stimulating the growth of algae, thus we titled it “ByLPO”, a by-product of palm oil.
We want to achieve SDGs* by utilizing the infinite potentials of microalgae
Microalgae are microscopic algae that generally live in the water. Many algae species use sunlight, like plants, to synthesize carbohydrate by absorbing carbon dioxide. Ones that do not, absorb organic matter from their surroundings to grow.
Historically, human has utilized microalgae since ancient times. For instances, today it is known that photosynthesis algae such as chlorella and spirulina have been favored as a wellness sustenance.
Since 2010, there has been a worldwide demand for alternative fuels from petroleum, and microalgae attracted a great deal of interest as a form of biomass that is not in competition with food production. In recent years, it started to be used in a wide range of fields such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, wellness products, and many others applications.
In addition, substances that damaged the environment such as sewage, industrial wastewater, thermal power plants and factories are effective for cultivating microalgae. From the sustainable development perspective, microalgae are expected to resolve this matter due to its ability convert hazardous wastes into invaluable goods.
*SDGs: Sustainable Development Goals. The international goals up to 2030 adopted at the United Nations Summit in September 2015.
Use as food and animal feed
The functional DHA fatty acid, which has attracted much market response recently, can be produced using heterotrophic algae, on the contrary to the current DHA production, where it depends solely on the supply of fish. We estimate that global DHA consumption will reach 255,000 MT (m3) per year in 2020, consequently, our main concern this increase will lead to overfishing and depletion of fishery resources. In response to overfishing, DHA sourced from fish oil is also at risk of sudden escalation in price and scarcity.
As aforementioned (in Algae potential), Chlorella and Spirulina have been used for quite some time due to these types of algae contain dietary fiber, β-carotene, and high-quality protein.
We focus on DHA oils extracted from algae, and are developing technology production for human consumption, animal and aquatic feed. We are able to produce high-quality DHA and PC-DHA (phospholipid DHA); DHA in aquaculture feed, and chicken eggs containing PC-DHA.
These technologies will stabilize the supply of DHA and contribute to the ocean sustainability.
Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, faces environmental problems concerning large volumes of palm oil mill effluent (POME).
POME is released into outdoor open pond, resulting in anaerobic process treatment. In this process, greenhouse gas methane is emitted. Since methane has a high global warming effect, its impact is equivalent to about 10% of total CO2 emissions in Indonesia. POME has a high BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) valued of 25,000-60,000ppm, which can cause other severe environmental problems such as water pollution in rivers, deterioration the quality of human life, and adverse effects on wildlife.
However, POME has essential source of nutrient for the growth of algae. We call this ByLPO as a by-product liquid of palm oil. By using ByLPO for cultivating heterotrophic microalgae and through an aerobic processing the result is a low level of BOD without generating methane.
We aim to produce clean water for our lives, prevent global warming, and eliminate deforestation caused by climate change from limiting the methane gas release and improving water quality.
What we are aiming for
Our goal is to solve environmental problems related to the POME released from palm oil production plants to the outdoor pond and secure alternative fuel for petroleum from algae.
This is a challenge for new technological innovation.
Palm oil industry is the largest component in the Indonesia’s overall line of business, a paradigm shifts able to occurred, where algae provide more benefits compare to palm oil through the implementation of a transformative new technology.
An increase in profits creates stable employment, improve the welfare of the people, and enrich the nation.
This goal is unachievable if it’s driven by a single entity, it requires an integration of multidisciplinary research and technological development, government support, and a united global perspective.
We collaborate with universities and companies to develop cultivation and production technology, support from locals, prominent financial institutions for funding, and the Indonesian government to formulate a national framework. Only through this integration, we are able to attain our goals.
We will achieve the SDGs with algae.
DHA sourced from Algae can be safely consumed by people who do not eat fish for religious reasons, or physiological reasons such as allergies.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) classified as an omega-3 fatty acid, is an essential nutrient for human body.
Among them, phospholipid-type DHA is an important constituent lipid of nerve tissue, and is said to be one of the essential nutrients for the development of nerves system organs especially for the fetus. DHA is therefore included in many products of breast milk substitutes.
According to a report from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the recommended intake of DHA is 1 g / day or more (18 years old and over).
Currently, human consumption of DHA is mainly derived from fish.
Since Japanese people are culturally an avid fish consumer inevitably EPA and DHA were consumed in daily basis. However, no-fish diet has become a trend as the seafood consumption per one person has continued to decrease after peaking at 40.2kg *in 2001. The amount consumed in 2016 is 24.6kg *, about 60% decrease compared to the peak occurred in 2001.
*Net food base, Fisheries Agency website
Meanwhile, fish consumption continues to increase throughout the world, and consumption of seafood products per capita has doubled in the last 50 years. The increase is particularly noticeable in Asia and Oceania. At the same time, catches from China, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc. are increasing, with China accounting for 19% of the world. (Reference: Fisheries Agency website)
Under these circumstances, DHA consumption is predicted to increase year after year, hence we estimate that the global DHA consumption will reach 255,000 MT (m3) in 2020. The dependency for fish as source of DHA will be exceptionally difficult in the future.