Co-composting of EFB and POME Using Rotary Drum Reactor by Partially Sequence Feeding Strategy

  • Rosnani AlkarimiahEmail author
  • Fatihah Suja’
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 53)


The objective of this study is to improve the co-composting method of empty fruit bunches (EFB) and palm oil mill effluent (POME) sludge by employing a mechanical rotary drum reactor. In the operation of this composting process, 4 feeds each with a mixture ratio of 20 kg EFB and 10 L sludge was added to the rotary drum reactor. The feeding strategy adopted in this composting process known as partially sequence feeding method. Parameter as pH, temperature, C/N ratios, moisture content, nutrient, and heavy metal elements plays as an indicator of the maturity level for the final compost product. From data collected, the pH profile was increased from 7.6 to 9.74 during the treatment process, but towards the end of the process, the pH profile starts to decrease until reached 7.59 which in the optimum and recommended pH value for the compost. The early C/N ratio is 22.73 was significantly reduced to 9.11 after 14 days of treatment process. The ultimate C/N ratio after 111 days of the composting process is 10.29. Optimum C/N ratio for composting is within 15–25 but with final C/N value below than 15 indicates the compost product are matured and ready to use for plantation. Additionally, very low levels of heavy metals (Ni, Pb, Cd and Cr) were observed in the compost product and all the elements are untraceable. The compost product might accommodate in palm plantation as fertilizer and soil modification.


Co-composting Empty fruit bunches Rotary composter Sludge POME 



The Authors would like to thank the management of Seri Ulu Langat Palm Oil Mill Factory, Dengkil for their kindness cooperation throughout the study. This study was partially supported by Zero Waste Management for Oil Palm Industry (Under UKM-YSD Grant-Cluster 2B).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil Engineering, Engineering CampusUniversiti Sains MalaysiaNibong TebalMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia

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