Combustion Performance and Exhaust Emission Analysis of Spent Bleaching Earth (SBE) Oil as Burner’s Fuel

  • M. AfzanEmail author
  • A. M. Ithnin
  • W. Jazair
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Spent bleaching earth (SBE) is a type of hazardous solid waste generated during the bleaching process of crude palm oil (CPO). Despite years of studies being done on how best to manage the waste, the issue is still largely unsolved and has created massive economic and environmental problems. SBE is generally disposed by dumping onto landfills because it is by far the cheapest method. However, due to the high quantities of water insoluble substance; mostly free fatty acids (FFA) and peroxide as well as heavy metals, the waste decomposes very slowly and thus becoming a serious hazard to the environment that can cause water and soil pollution as well as fire risk. Recent breakthrough in studies have allowed significant amount of residual oil contained in SBE to be extracted and this has opened up new avenues to tackle the SBE dumping issue. By extracting the oil, it can be used as an alternative fuel in lieu of fossil fuels in power generation. This will inadvertently create a value added product that can mitigate the environmental hazards of SBE dumping but also reduce the cost of handling and disposing the waste. However, at present the research on SBE is limited to the advancement of residual oil extraction technique. There is no research that focus on the evaluation of SBE oil as a substitute to fossil fuels. As such this paper will evaluate and determine the combustion performance and exhaust emission of SBE oil as a source of fuel for burner. The combustion performance in terms of CO2, CO, NOx and flame temperature will be compared with neat diesel under the same conditions. SBE oil shows some promising combustion performance, since it produces no SOx due to the absence of Sulphur, emits lower CO2 than diesel, while releases higher CO than diesel. The higher amount of CO produced by SBE oil can be largely attributed by the high viscosity of the oil. The high viscosity and density of SBE oil greatly affects the fuel spray which in turns causing a poor atomization and combustion hence the high amount of CO emission.


Spent bleaching earth Residual oil Burner fuel Emission 


  1. 1.
    Singh RP, Ibrahim MH, Esa N, Iliyana MS (2010) Composting of waste from palm oil mill: a sustainable waste management practice. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 9(4):331–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Loh SK, Cheong KY, Choo YM, Salimon J (2015) Formulation and optimisation of spent bleaching earth-based bio organic fertiliser. J Oil Palm Res 27(1):57–66Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Japir AA, Salimon J, Derawi D, Bahadi M, Al-Shuja’a S, Yusop MR (2017) Physicochemical characteristics of high free fatty acid crude palm oil. OCL 24(5):D506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Malaysian Palm Oil Board (2018) The Malaysian palm oil facts [Online]. Available:
  5. 5.
    Szulczyk KR, Atiqur Rahman Khan M (2018) The potential and environmental ramifications of palm biodiesel: evidence from Malaysia. J Clean Prod 203:260–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Abdullah N, Sulaim F (2013) The oil palm wastes in Malaysia. Biomass Now Sustain Growth UseGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mu B, Wang A (2019) Regeneration and recycling of spent bleaching earth. In: Handbook of ecomaterials, vol 5, pp 3147–3167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kheang LS, May CY (2006) A study of residual oils recovered from spent bleaching earth: their characteristics and applications. Am J Appl Sci 3(10):2063–2067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sapawe N, Hanafi MF (2018) Analysis of the pyrolysis products from spent bleaching clay. Mater Today Proc 5(10):21940–21947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chung C, Eidman V (1997) Economic use of spent bleaching earth. Inf Int News Fats Oils Relat Mater 8(7):739–742Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fahmil ASQRM, Gumbira-Sa’id E, Suryani A (2014) Biodiesel production from residual palm oil contained in spent bleaching earth by in situ trans-esterification. Environ Asia 7(2):30–35Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kheang LS, May CY (2007) Residual oil from spent bleaching earth (sbe) for biodiesel and biolubricant applicationsGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mahesar SSA, Sherazi STH, Khaskheli AR, Kandhro AA (2016) Analytical approaches for free fatty acids assessment in oils and fatsGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Al Omari SAB, Hamdan MO, Selim MY, Elnajjar E (2019) Combustion of jojoba-oil/diesel blends in a small scale furnace. Renew Energy 131:678–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Che Mat S, Idroas MY, Teoh YH, Hamid MF (2019) Optimisation of viscosity and density of refined palm oil-melaleuca cajuputi oil binary blends using mixture design method. Renew Energy 133:393–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Du E, Cai L, Huang K, Tang H, Xu X, Tao R (2018) Reducing viscosity to promote biodiesel for energy security and improve combustion efficiency. Fuel 211:194–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Park SH, Youn IM, Lim Y, Lee CS (2013) Influence of the mixture of gasoline and diesel fuels on droplet atomization, combustion, and exhaust emission characteristics in a compression ignition engine. Fuel Process Technol 106:392–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wang X, Huang Z, Kuti OA, Zhang W, Nishida K (2011) An experimental investigation on spray, ignition and combustion characteristics of biodiesels. Proc Combust Inst 33(2):2071–2077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tzanetakis T, Moloodi S, Farra N, Nguyen B, McGrath A, Thomson MJ (2011) Comparison of the spray combustion characteristics and emissions of a wood-derived fast pyrolysis liquid-ethanol blend with number 2 and number 4 fuel oils in a pilot-stabilized swirl burner. Energy Fuels 25(10):4305–4321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mahfouz A, Gad MS, El Fatih A, Emara A (2018) Comparative study of combustion characteristics and exhaust emissions of waste cooking-diesel oil blends. Ain Shams Eng JGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ghorbani A, Bazooyar B, Shariati A, Jokar SM, Ajami H, Naderi A (2011) A comparative study of combustion performance and emission of biodiesel blends and diesel in an experimental boiler. Appl Energy 88(12):4725–4732CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Vehicle System (VSE) LaboratoryMalaysia Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)Kuala LumpurMalaysia

Personalised recommendations