Production of Xylitol from Oil Palm Empty Friuts Bunch: A Case Study on Bioefinery Concept

  •  MTAP Kresnowati    
  •  Efri Mardawati    
  •  Tjandra Setiadi    


The concept of biorefinery offers the utilization of biomass, in particular agricultural waste, to be converted intoenergy, chemicals, materials, and food. In 2013 Indonesia produced about 27.4 thousand tons of crude palm oil(CPO) which corresponds to approximately 30 thousand tons of oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB), the biomasswaste from palm oil industries. The huge availability of EFB in Indonesia may serve as a good starting point toimplement the concept of biorefinery. EFB mainly comprises of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Thecellulosic components of EFB have been thoroughly studied, i.e. for the production of bioethanol. Thehemicellulosic component of EFB, which is a polymeric substance that comprises mainly of xylose, has beenbarely explored. This paper reviewed the potential utilization of hemicellulosic component of EFB to beconverted to xylitol, the 5-carbon-sugar-alcohol which is low calorie, low Glycemic Index, and anti-cariogenic.The pretreatment and hydrolysis of EFB and the following fermentation of EFB hydrolysate to xylitol will bediscussed further.

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