Colombian Oil Palm Research Center

Bogotá, Colombia

Colombian Oil Palm Research Center

Bogotá, Colombia
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Garcia-Nunez J.A.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Garcia-Nunez J.A.,Washington State University | Rodriguez D.T.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Fontanilla C.A.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | And 6 more authors.
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2016

Six alternatives for the conversion of an average Colombian palm oil mill (30 t h-1 of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) into biorefineries were evaluated. The alternatives studied were: (C1) Production of biogas from the Palm Oil Mill Effluents (POME), (C2) Composting of empty fruit bunches (EFB) and fiber, (C3) Biomass combustion for high pressure steam combined heat and power, (C4) Pellets production, (C5) Biochar production and, (C6) Biochar and bio-oil production. The available biomass could result in up to 125 kWh of electricity, 207 kg of compost, 125 kg of pellet, 44 kg of biochar and 63 kg of bio-oil per metric ton of FFB. The global warming potential (GWP), eutrophication potential (EP), net energy ratio (NER), capital expenditures (CAPEX), operational costs (OPEX), net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) were calculated for all the alternatives. GHG reductions of more than 33% could be achieved. Anaerobic digestion and composting contributed to 30% reduction of the EP. The CAPEX for all of the biorefinery alternatives studied varies between 0.7 $ t-1 and 2.8 $ t-1 of FFB. The OPEX varies between 1.6 $ t-1 and 7.3 $ t-1 of FFB. The NPV for viable scenarios ranged between 2.5 million and 13.9 million US dollars. The IRR calculated varied between 3% and 56% and the payback periods were between 3 and 8 years. The total extra incomes reached values up to 15.2 $ t-1 of FFB. Overall the pellets production biorefinery was the preferred alternative. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Garcia-Nunez J.A.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Garcia-Nunez J.A.,Washington State University | Ramirez-Contreras N.E.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Rodriguez D.T.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2016

The palm oil agroindustry not only produces the most consumed vegetable oil in the world, but also a significant quantity of residual biomass. This waste represents real opportunity to create a variety of products. In the context of sustainable oil production, the use of biomass to generate value-added products can be addressed through the evolution of existing palm oil mills (POMs) into biorefineries. In this manuscript, the authors present a literature review of potential uses for biomass generated in palm plantations and at the POM, including the main properties, quantities, and current practices. After this, a review of novel, less traditional is made. Finally, strategies for the synthesis and analysis of POM biorefinery concepts are discussed. This review highlights the need for development of high-value products from POM waste and the urgency to incubate these emerging technologies for gradual transition into biorefineries. Based on short term economic performance, biomass pelletization and anaerobic digestion of POME are the most promising technologies. Furthermore, the production of biochar has great potential when the environmental performance is taken into account. More work is needed to evaluate the long term economic, social, and environmental impact of other new technologies both now and in the future. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Rivera Mendez Y.D.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Moreno Chacon A.L.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Romero H.M.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Romero H.M.,National University of Colombia
Acta Biologica Colombiana | Year: 2013

The interspecific hybrid, Elaeis oleifera x Elaeis guineensis (OxG) is an alternative for improving the competitiveness and sustainability of the Latin American oil palm agro-industry, because of its partial resistance to some lethal diseases and also because of the high quality of its oil. A comparative characterization was conducted of the physiological and biochemical performance of seedlings of six OxG hybrids grown in hydroponics. Gas exchange, vegetative growth, protein, sugar and photosynthetic pigment content, and antioxidant system activity were determined. With the exception of gas exchange, the other variables showed significant differences between materials. The 'U1273' and 'U1737' materials showed greater vegetative growth with no expression of biochemical traits, while the 'U1914'and 'U1990' materials showed high levels of reducing and total sugars, photosynthetic pigments, and antioxidant system activities, characteristics that could confer them adaptation to stress conditions. With the standardized hydroponics technique, the optimal conditions for the growth of seedlings were ensured, the differences between materials were established, so those with promising features from the physiological and biochemical standpoint were identified. Finally, it could be used to study in a simple, fast, clean and inexpensive way, the effect of levels and sources of mineral nutrients on the growth and development of oil palm.


Sarria G.A.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Martinez G.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Varon F.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Drenth A.,University of Queensland | Guest D.I.,University of Sydney
European Journal of Plant Pathology | Year: 2015

The predominant disease affecting oil palms in Colombia is bud rot, a decay of the growing leaf tissues that may eventually reach the meristem. Previous studies have suggested many biotic and abiotic causes, but Koch’s Postulates have recently confirmed Phytophthora palmivora as the primary pathogen of bud rot. In this paper, we describe the infection process in immature leaflets inoculated with zoospores of P. palmivora using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Initially, zoospores were attracted primarily to leaf trichomes, where some developed appressorium-like structures and subsequently penetrated the tissue. Germinated zoospores were also observed penetrating the stomata or intercellular spaces. After penetration hyphae colonized the intercellular leaf spaces, followed by intracellular invasion, penetrating to the vascular bundles and then spreading throughout the host tissue. Between 12 and 24 h after inoculation, hyphae emerged from the surface of the leaflet through the stomata, trichomes and intercellular spaces. Within 36 and 48 h, sporangia, chlamydospores, and newly released zoospores were observed, starting a new cycle of secondary infections. This sequence was consistently observed in repeated experiments. We suggest that in the field collection of moisture at the base of emerging leaflets stimulates the release of zoospores and infection. Colonization is restricted once the leaflet emerges, leaving dormant chlamydospores and hyphae in small necrotic lesions. Successive rain events stimulate the formation of new generations of sporangia, zoospores and infections, which, if frequent enough, may completely colonize the bud area. Subsequent colonization of infected tissues by opportunistic bacteria and fungi increases the severity of bud rot symptoms. The information presented here provides an overview of histopathological aspects of the early infections process of P. palmivora in detached immature leaflets. © 2015 Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging


In the preceding paper we examined carbon sequestration in oil palm plantations and in mill products and by-products as part of a study of the greenhouse gas balance of palm oil production in Colombia, showing how this has changed over time. Here, we look at the opposing processes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and calculate the resulting net carbon budget for the industry. The main emission sources, in decreasing order of magnitude, assessed using 'default' or 'most probable' options, were found to be land use change (40.9% of total), mill methane production (21.4%), direct use of fossil fuel (18.5%), indirect use of fossil fuel (11.9%) and nitrous oxide production (7.3%). The total (gross) emissions, expressed in carbon equivalents (Ceq.), were less than the amount of sequestered carbon, resulting in a positive net Ceq. balance. All oil palm growing regions showed a net gain with the exception of the western zone, where emissions due to land-use change were judged to be substantial. Of the 11 alternative scenarios tested, only three resulted in Ceq. balances lower than the default and only two gave a negative balance.


Colombia is currently the world's fifth largest producer of palm oil and the largest producer in South and Central America. It has substantial areas of land that could be used for additional oil palm production and there is considerable scope for increasing yields of existing planted areas. Much of the vegetation on land suitable for conversion to oil palm has a low biomass, and so establishing oil palm plantations on such land should lead to an increase in carbon stock, thereby counteracting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions responsible for global warming. Te first part of this study examines changes in carbon stock in Colombia resulting from expansion of oil palm cultivation together with factors (offsets) that act to minimize carbon emissions. Te results are subsequently used to construct a net GHG balance.


Cristancho J.A.R.,University Putra Malaysia | Hanafi M.M.,University Putra Malaysia | Omar S.R.S.,University Putra Malaysia | Rafii Y.M.,University Putra Malaysia | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Plant Nutrition | Year: 2011

Aluminum (Al) toxicity is an important factor in limiting crop production. The present study examined the Al alleviation effects on the growth of hybrid (breeding) and clonal (tissue culture) of D × P oil palm seedlings. The experiment was performed using calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and ground magnesium limestone (GML) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) as soil-amendments at different rates in Colombia and Malaysia, respectively. The effects of the treatments were evaluated monthly on vegetative variables and visual symptoms. Chlorophyll concentrations were recorded in Malaysia at the fifth month growing stage. The different amendments improved the soil fertility and it was reflected on better performance of shoot and root growth. The chlorophyll content in the frond number 3 for both materials enhanced significantly when Al saturation was low (0-30%). The results from the experiment revealed the importance of neutralization of Al in reducing its toxicity in oil palm. © Taylor & Francis Group.


Acevedo E.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Galindo-Castaneda T.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Prada F.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Navia M.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Applied Soil Ecology | Year: 2014

This study determined the cell density in the field and the biological activity of culturable phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms (PSMs) present in the Elaeis guineensis Jacq. rhizosphere at two locations in a commercial plantation. Promising isolates found in two soils under different agronomic management conditions were selected. We first calculated the cell density of cultivable PSMs grown in SRS medium (Sundara-Rao and Sinha, 1963) supplemented with the insoluble phosphate sources Ca3(PO4)2, AlPO4, and FePO4. Twenty-two bacteria, ten filamentous fungi, and eight yeast isolates were found. The 16 isolates with the clearest P solubilization halo in Petri dishes were selected to estimate their P solubilization potential in SRS medium with Ca3(PO4)2. No solubilization activity was registered using AlPO4 or FePO4 as the P sources. Ten of the isolates presented solubilization efficiencies between 20 and 82%. Some of these isolates showed high percentages of identity with the 16S and ITS rDNA sequences of the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, Klebsiella, Burkholderia, and Staphylococcus according to the NCBI and EzTaxon-e databases. The solubilization activity of the isolates was associated with a decrease in the pH and the release of organic acids, such as gluconic, citric, succinic, and acetic acids. Gluconic acid was mainly released by the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium, and these isolates also showed the highest solubilization activities (82 and 80%, respectively). Therefore, these isolates were selected as the most promising isolates present in the oil palm rhizosphere for phosphate solubilization. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Henson I.E.,7 Richmond Dale | Romero R.R.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Romero H.M.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center
Journal of Oil Palm Research | Year: 2011

Colombia is currently the world's fifth largest producer of palm oil and the largest producer in South and Central America. It has substantial areas of land that can be used for additional oil palm production, and there is considerable scope for increasing yields in existing planted areas. This article reviews the growth in oil palm area and production since the late 1960s in the country's four production zones, examines trends in product extraction rates, compares seasonal variations in yield, and compares various aspects of oil palm performance in Colombia with that in Southeast Asia.


Torres G.A.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Sarria G.A.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Martinez G.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | Varon F.,Colombian Oil Palm Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Phytopathology | Year: 2016

Oomycetes from the genus Phytophthora are among the most important plant pathogens in agriculture. Epidemics caused by P. infestans precipitated the great Irish famine and had a major impact on society and human history. In the tropics, P. palmivora is a pathogen of many plant species including cacao (Theobroma cacao), citrus (Citrus sp.), durian (Durio zibethines), jackfruit (Artrocarpus heterophyllus), rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), and several palm species including coconut (Cocos nucifera), and the African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) as determined recently. The first localized epidemics of bud rot in oil palm in Colombia were reported in 1964. However, recent epidemics of bud rot have destroyed more than 70,000 ha of oil palm in the Western and Central oil palm growing regions of Colombia. The agricultural, social, and economic implications of these outbreaks have been significant in Colombia. Identification of the pathogen after 100 years of investigating the disease in the world enabled further understanding of infection, expression of a range of symptoms, and epidemiology of the disease. This review examines the identification of P. palmivora as the cause of bud rot in Colombia, its epidemiology, and discusses the importance of P. palmivora as a major threat to oil palm plantings globally. © 2016 The American Phytopathological Society.

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