Palm Kernel Shells as Biomass Resource

Biomass residue from palm oil industries are attractive renewable energy fuel in Southeast Asia. The abundance of these biomass resources is increasing with the fast development of palm oil industries in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. In the Palm Oil value chain there is an overall surplus of by-products and the utilisation rate of these by-products is low.

Palm kernel shells (or PKS) are the shell fractions left after the nut has been removed after crushing in the palm oil mill. Palm kernel shells are a fibrous material and can be easily handled in bulk directly from the product line to the end use. Large and small shell fractions are mixed with dust-like fractions and small fibres.


Moisture content in kernel shells is low compared to other biomass residues with different sources suggesting values between 11% and 13%. Palm kernel shells contain residues of Palm Oil, which accounts for its slightly higher heating value than average lignocellulosic biomass. Compared to other residues from the industry, it is a good quality biomass fuel with uniform size distribution, easy handling, easy crushing, and limited biological activity due to low moisture content.

Palm Kernel Shells

Press fibre and kernel shell generated by the palm oil mills are traditionally used as solid fuels for steam boilers. The steam generated is used to run turbines for electricity production. These two solid fuels alone are able to generate more than enough energy to meet the energy demands of a palm oil mill.

Most palm oil mills in the region are self-sufficient in terms of energy by making use of kernel shells and mesocarp fibers in cogeneration. The demand for palm kernel shells has increased considerably in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand resulting in price close to that of coal. Nowadays, cement industries are using palm kernel shells to replace coal mainly because of CDM benefits. PKS has also emerged as a hot biomass commodity in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in South Korea and Japan, where PKS is being used to power huge biomass power plants. PKS is also getting traction in Europe as an attractive alternative fuel.

The problems associated with the burning of these solid fuels are the emissions of dark smoke and the carry-over of partially carbonized fibrous particulates due to incomplete combustion of the fuels can be tackled by commercially-proven technologies in the form of high-pressure boilers.

Dual-fired boilers capable of burning either diesel oil or natural gas are the most suitable for burning palm Oil waste since they could also facilitate the use of POME-derived biogas as a supplementary fuel. However, there is a great scope for introduction of high-efficiency CHP systems in the industry which will result in substantial supply of excess power to the public grid.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at or
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50 Responses to Palm Kernel Shells as Biomass Resource


    i want a contact to export palm kernel shell from Ghana to buyers

  2. James says:

    A very interesting article.
    Regarding your comment;

    “Palm kernel shells contain residues of Palm Oil, which accounts for its slightly higher heating value than average lignocellulosic biomass”

    I would be interested to know if you have a typical value for the residual oil content of Palm Kernel Shells?

    Many thanks

  3. nwanne says:

    Nicely articulated write up.

  4. Achor D. Ahanonu says:

    Such a nice article that raises hopes. Very interesting and well enjoyed.

  5. Fred Coulter says:

    Your article was very interesting to me as i have designed and built presses ideal for compresing PKS into fire logs weighing 3kg and measuring 100x100x200mm the plant can produce app 8mt per hr

    • Lestr says:

      Dear Fred, I’m interested in such a tool, not only for PKS. Could you please send me more info to ? Thanks

    • Ryan says:

      Please send more details on, very much interested knowing more details such as, cost , spects of machine and availability
      thanks in advance

      • Salman Zafar says:

        Dear Ryan
        Thanks for your email. Good to know about your interest in PKS.
        I wish to inform you that BioEnergy Consult is a consultancy organization and will charge an appropriate fee for providing the required information. Hope you are comfortable with it.
        Look forward to hearing back soon.

        Best wishes
        Salman Zafar

        CEO, BioEnergy Consult

        • Iniobong David says:

          Your article was informative with great aspirations. I want to learn more as well possibly will like to venture into this cause this resources lie waste in my country Nigeria. Whatever is involved. Pls my e-mail iniobongdavidgeo@gmail. com

    • usman says:

      i am very much interested in such presser….please send me details

    • Claudine says:

      Morning Fred, although long after your publication date of your message, and if still on the market, could you please send some info to

    • Talo Vaa says:

      Fred what is the best way to contact you? I’d like more info on your machines.

  6. emmanuel owate says:

    Please I have a lot of palm karnel shell to export from nigeria ,let me know how to go about it.thanks

  7. Achor D. Ahanonu says:

    We are Ghana based Importer/Exporter and Supplier s of all kinds of PALM Products (and other Agro Products) such as: Palm Kernel Shells (PKS), Palm Kernel Fibers, Palm Kernel Cake, Palm Crude Oil and Palm Kernel Oil & etc.

    We would like to partner with you to engage in the Market look-out and Partnership. If in need of more information, kindly feel free to contact us at:

    Skype: ahanonu01

  8. Davidson Ukwuani says:

    A charming article indeed…I’ve never had so many information about kernel shells. I have a lot of it I mean a lot of it in my environment because there are so many companies using kernel as there raw materials…maybe we can workout something if ever will be needing it. Thanks.

  9. Mohammed maxwell says:

    like this article. How do Ghanaians use energy from palm kennel oil

    • Matthew says:

      Haha we just waste them I will be happy if I can get someone help me make it useful cos I have a farm on that

  10. owate emmanuel says:

    thanks for this article , we have this in large volume in nigeria place put me through on how to export them .thanks .

  11. William Boateng says:

    Pls i am based in Ghana with a stock of pks. Kindly provide links to possible markets in Europe or elsewhere

  12. Chrys says:

    I am so interested to know more please. Thanks

  13. Erick says:

    If anyone needs Palm Kernel Shell, I can provide Palm Kernel Shell of my country Indonesia minimum of 10,000 MT / month.
    If there is a serious buyer or importer please submitted the specification and the amount you wish through the LOI to my email:
    Thank you to the owner of this blog

  14. c.s shankar says:

    emmanuel.. pls send in your offer to for the Palm Kernel shells.

  15. Pingback: Advanced BioFuels USA » The Huge Unexploited Potential of Generating Biofuels from a Food Processing Residue, Palm Kernel Oil (PKO), with Ghana in Perspective

  16. Ben says:

    I want to no more about wot is needed to convert d kernel shells to fuel

  17. Okori Samson says:

    I want more information on the cost of set up of the palm kernel shell renewable energy processing and packaging for export markets and market targets.

  18. DONALD says:

    How can I get information about exporting from Nigeria

  19. Tshwarelo Mokgongwane says:

    Can someone help me with the chemical composition of palm kernel shell.

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  23. Salako Sulaimon says:

    Any biomass resours interested compane should contact me through email.

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  28. kyere prince says:

    how serious is anyone here looking for PkS …if you will not buy it at less price please teach us the way to turn this shell to biomass so we also can gain a living out of such work …my emails is…remember sharing is caring so please share your experience
    thanks reading

  29. Janet Monday galadima says:

    I need a contact to supply palm kernel shells from Nigeria to buyers or any company interested tank u

  30. Pingback: Palm Kernel Shells: An Attractive Biomass Fuel for Europe | BioEnergy Consult

  31. Linda says:

    A very nice 1,thanks dear writer, I have palm kernel shell coal in a larger quantity available for sale, let’s chat on WhatsApp 08068110475

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