What is oil palm fiber?


What is Oil Palm Fiber? Oil palm fiber is the fibrous material obtained from oil palm. FFB (Fresh Fruit Bunch) which is plucked from the tree is sent to palm oil mill to extract crude palm oil. After several sterilization processes, palm oil bunch would have to go through a fruit detachment process whereby threshing process applied in order to separate between sterilized palm fruit and EFB (Empty Fruit Bunch). In other words, EFB is the byproduct in oil extraction process 


After getting general idea on what oil palm fiber is, the next question is: what are categories of oil palm fiber? Generally, oil palm fiber can be group as EFB fiber, mesocarp fiber and trunk fiber. Common oil palm fiber that can be found on the market is EFB fiber.



The shredded palm EFB fiber is extracted by shredding and pressing the raw EFB after the crude palm oil is extracted from the fruit bunch. It contains low oil after the pressing process.  Shredded fiber is usually packed in bale.

Before latest application being developed, converting EFB to compost is seems to be the only solution for most of the crude palm oil mill.  Those crude palm oil mills having their own estate will gather the EFB, expose them to the air to let it turn black and begin fermentation.  After 120 days of fermentation, the EFB will be transported back to oil palm estate for compost fertilizer.  Sometime we do see palm oil sludge being mixed in the EFB in order to expedite the fermentation process.

Now, EFB has more other application other than fermentation.  The high calorific value makes palm EFB fiber a good raw material for bio-fuel. By going through further cleaning process and extraction of long fiber, EFB is a potential candidate to replace coconut fiber in mattress manufacture owing to its strong, firm and elastic characteristic. Vitamin E can also be extracted from EFB Fiber. With more application, companies in Malaysia have been purchasing EFB to recover the fiber from it.