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Processes 2019, 7(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7020100

Hybrid Approach for Optimisation and Analysis of Palm Oil Mill

1
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Broga Road, 43500 Semenyih, Malaysia
2
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, 62200 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya, Malaysia
3
Centre for Engineering and Sustainable Development Research, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, 0922 Manila, Philippines
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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Abstract

A palm oil mill produces crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil and other biomass from fresh fruit bunches. Although the milling process is well established in the industry, insufficient research and development reported in optimising and analysing the operations of a palm oil mill. The performance of a palm oil mill (e.g., costs, utilisation and flexibility) is affected by factors such as operating time, capacity and fruit availability. This paper presents a hybrid combined mathematical programming and graphical approach to solve and analyse a palm oil mill case study in Malaysia. The hybrid approach consists of two main steps: (1) optimising a palm oil milling process to achieve maximum economic performance via input-output optimisation model (IOM); and (2) performing a feasible operating range analysis (FORA) to study the utilisation and flexibility of the developed design. Based on the optimised results, the total equipment units needed is reduced from 39 to 26 unit, bringing down the total capital investment by US$6.86 million (from 18.42 to 11.56 million US$) with 23% increment in economic performance (US$0.82 million/y) achieved. An analysis is presented to show the changes in utilisation and flexibility of the mill against capital investment. During the peak crop season, the utilisation index increases from 0.6 to 0.95 while the flexibility index decreases from 0.4 to 0.05. View Full-Text
Keywords: mathematical programming; graphical approach; feasible operating range analysis; utilisation index; flexibility index mathematical programming; graphical approach; feasible operating range analysis; utilisation index; flexibility index
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Foong, S.Z.Y.; Andiappan, V.; Tan, R.R.; Foo, D.C.Y.; Ng, D.K.S. Hybrid Approach for Optimisation and Analysis of Palm Oil Mill. Processes 2019, 7, 100.

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