Techno-Economic Analysis of Ethylene Production from Empty Fruit Bunch

  • Vincent C. NTICHIKA
  • Omotola I. OLADIMEJI
  • Madu D. GADZAMA
  • Abdulkadir M. ZABI
  • Abba A. UMAR
  • James O. JOSEPH
Keywords: Bioethylene, Lignocellulosic, Techno-economic, Empty fruit brunch, Plant, Simulation


Oil palm empty fruit bunch is classified as primary lignocellulosic residue from the palm oil industry. It is considered to be a promising feedstock for bioconversion into value-added products such as bioethylene. However, using this material to produce bioethylene remains a significant challenge for small and medium enterprises. Hence, techno-economic and sensitivity analysis of bioethylene plant treating empty fruit bunch was performed in this study. The information based on extracted data was employed to develop a simulation on an industrial-scale semi-continuous production process. The production plant's process description and cost analysis with a production capacity of 100,000 kg/hr were summarized. The result based on 20 years of operation indicated that the net positive value of the plant of lower capacity was negative. However, the value increased towards the positive as the plant capacity increased. Ethylene yield of 0.16 Tonethylene/TonEFB was obtained, with a product purity of 99.3%. Economic analysis of the simulated process plant revealed that the process is highly profitable at a plant capacity rate of 100,000 kg/hr, with a payback period of 4.11 years. Negative NPV values for the first 4 years and positive for the rest life span and a profitability index of 1.11.