Agricultural waste has long been utilised as a source of valuable products. In the palm oil industry, for example, most mesocarp fibres and shells are used in low pressure, inefficient boilers at the oil palm mills themselves to produce steam and generate power. EFBs, on the other hand, are mainly incinerated to produce bunch ash to be distributed back to the field as fertiliser or mulched to directly produce organic fertiliser. However, these conventional methods are inefficient and in the case of EFB incineration, creates environmental problems - specifically, severe air pollution: it has even been prohibited by Malaysia’s Environment Protection Act.
RTP™ is a much more environmentally friendly proposition than current methods of biomass disposal. RTP™ is a self-sustaining process, converting biomass from its solid form into bio-oil ( a dark and viscous liquid that is effectively a substitute for traditional fossil fuels) with minimal carbon footprint and little greenhouse gas emissions.Feedstock is introduced into a vessel and rapidly heated to 500ºC by a tornado of hot sand and then rapidly cooled within seconds, generating a relatively high yield (i.e., approx 75 wt%) of bio-oil. The process also produces by-product char and non-condensable gas, both of which can be efficiently used to provide process energy, which can then be used in the reheater to maintain the RTP™ process and/or in the dryer to condition the biomass.