From the study conducted at Desa Kim Loong Palm Oil (DKLPO) at Keningau, the researcher had gathered a full observation of entire plant operations. The mill had channeled the water from the river as their primary water source to the reserved pond before they feeds the water needed to the sand filter using the pump. Furthermore, the water will be channeled into the overhead tank after the water gone through a filtering process in the sand filter. This process is done to make sure the water taken from the river is unsoiled from unneeded effluents and ready to be used in plantation operations.
As the water was pumped into the overhead tank after filtering process, the researcher started the process of determining the total water used at the mill. In conducting the verification process, the researcher had calculated manually about the water usage as the researcher considered to settle on finding the data determined for each equipment involved in the mill operation such as the water used by the boiler. Furthermore, the manual calculation has to be done as there are no well-functioned flow meters in the mill. In addition, the manual calculation that has been conducted by the researcher is using the simple equations such as the overhead tank been measured its circumference by measuring tape.
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Then, the researcher had closed the water feed pipe for five minutes in order to get the volume of the water used by monitoring the water used using the indicator from outside the tank. On the other hand, as for boiler, the researcher had to close the pipe form overhead tank and hot water tank before the researcher marked the initial level of the level indicator where the indicator was moving freely up to five minutes before the last position on the indicator level marked. However, the researcher already measured the overhead tank's circumference before the area of the overhead tank calculated to determine the volume water used for the boiler.
Moreover, to confirm the reliability of the study, the researcher was determined to assess the mill operations for four weeks period. Therefore, the researcher had asked the employee at the mill to aid the researcher in collecting the data for needed period. Graciously, with the aid by the mill's employee, the researcher is able to complete the table of water inlet to cooling pond and water outlet from discharge pond data. The data taken is from 10th October 2009 till 08th November 2009.
4.2 The Presentation of Result
Figure 4.1 : Mass Balance for water footprint in the mill
Figure 4.1 shows the mass balance for water footprint in Desa Kim Loong Palm Oil (DKLPO). Based from the figure, the researcher had indentified the water source for the water used for the palm oil operations which is the river where the water from the river was taken to the pond before the water was chanelled to the overhead tank after the filtering process.
The figure 4.1 also tells us 135.87 m3/h of water usage at the Overhead Tank. Hence, the water was supplied to Domestic, Hot Water Tank and Softener. The water usage at Domestic is 13.59 m3/h, 79.82 m3/h at the Hot Water Tank while 42.46 m3/h of water used by the Softener. The water usage at the Softener also includes the usage at Buffer Tank, Dearator and Boiler.
In addition, the Press had used 23.95 m3/h of the water supply while the water usage by the Oil Room is 55.87 m3/h. The water used by the Oil Room also included the water used by Separator No. 1, Separator No. 2, Separator No. 3, Separator No. 4, Separator No. 5 and the Kernel Plant. While for the water usage by the Press also includes Press No. 1, Press No. 2, Press No. 3, Press No. 4, Press No. 5, Press No. 6 and the Oil Gutter.
The calculation for each component for this operation is done manually by the researcher using the simple equations. Moreover, the mass balance for water footprint assessment in the mill is very essential to this study as the researcher determined the water usage by each equipment used in the mill operations using the mass balance.
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Table 4.1 : Water inlet to cooling pond and water outlet from discharge pond (m3)
Different Inlet (final - initial)
Different Outlet (Final - Initial)
Different Outlet - Different Inlet
Table 4.1 shows the data taken for the waste inlet to the cooling pond and the outlet from the discharge pond. In addition, the data taken is for four weeks period where the data first taken on 10th October 2009 while the final data taken is on 08th November 2009. For the data completion, the researcher only able to manually calculated the data for two times while the rest of the data was taken by the aid of the employee of Desa Kim Loong Palm Oil (DKLPO).
Moreover, the table not only shows the data of waste inlet to the cooling pond and the data of the outlet from the discharge pond, but also shows the differences between the final and initial inlet and the differences between the final and initial outlet. Furthermore, Table 4.1 also illustrates the differences between the differences of the inlet and the differences of the outlet. Thus, the monthly total also has been shown in Table 4.1.
4.3 Discussion on Data Interpretation
Form the data collected, the researcher has successfully answered the first research question; does the water footprint can determine the total use of water supply in each of the equipment. As the data shown in Figure 4.1, the researcher had confirmed that the water footprint assessment can determine the total use of the water supply in each equipment used in the mill operations at Desa Kim Loong Palm Oil (DKLPO).
Through water footprint assessment, the researcher identified that the Overhead Tank had used 135.87 m3/h of water usage during the mill operations. 13.59 m3/h of water supply also has been used at the Hot Water Tank while while 42.46 m3/h of water used by the Softener. On the other hand, the water usage at Domestic is 13.59 m3/h. Moreover, the assessment also identified that 23.95 m3/h of water supply is used by the Press while the Oil Room used 55.87 m3/h. Therefore, the researcher managed to do the verification on the water usage on each equipment involved in the DKLPO mill operations.
From Table 4.1, the researcher had indicated that the total of untreated effluents in is 1139 m3/day while the total of treated effluents out is 2611m3/day. There are some possibilities of this matter such as the addition of the groundwater at the treatment plant, the rain drop and the effects of the differences between 20 hours processing hour per day and 24 hours treatment hour per day. The huge difference of untreated effluents in and treated effluents out is probably because of the groundwater addition at the treatment plant which the treatment plant usually had some amount of previous treated water in the pond. Therefore, the new water usage has been added with the groundwater and makes a huge addition on output of water effluents.
In addition, the rain drop also might be another cause for the difference between untreated effluents in and treated effluents out. This is because, the ponds used at the treatment plant are open pond which this might be one of the factors of the huge incensement in the treated effluents out compared to the total untreated effluents in. The treated effluents out possibly added with the rain drop which made the treated effluents out unequal with the untreated effluents in.
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On the other hand, the differences between 20 hours processing process per day and 24 hours treatment process per day might are related to the differences between total untreated effluents in and total treated effluents. Therefore, the researcher had indicated that there is 4 hours addition to the treatment process compared to 20 hours processing process in the mill operations. The addition of 4 hours treatment process had increased the total treated effluents out as the operation continues for 4 hours after the processing process finished. Hence, the treatment still processes the balance of water in the treatment ponds as the ponds usually had groundwater in it which the ponds are biological treatment ponds.
Therefore, these discussed three factors might be a factor for the differences between total untreated effluents in and total treated effluents out where the factors mentioned had close relations to the volume of the wastewater in the ponds.
Figure 4.2 : Pie Chart of Water Utilization for DKLPO
The pie chart above shows the percentage of the water usage by the equipments used in palm oil operation at Desa Kim Loong Palm Oil (DKLPO). The pie chart shows that the most user of the water supply is the Hot Water Tank where it used 58.75 percent of the water supply form the Overhead Tank. The second user which is the most important equipment in the mill operation is the Boiler where the Boiler impressively only used 31.25 percent of the total water supply from the Overhead Tank.
In addition, this very discovery had answered the research question which the researcher had questioned in the Chapter 1 if the Boiler is the main user of the water supplied. Therefore, from the pie chart above, the boiler is not the main user of the water supply where the Boiler only managed to use 31.25 percent from the total water supply. Hence, this study had confirmed that the main user of the water supply is the Hot Water Tank where it channeled 17.63 percent of the water to the Press while another 41.12 percent is channeled to the Oil Room. Moreover, the other 10 percent of water supply is used at the Domestic equipment.
Hence, DKLPO factory needs an efficient water assessment as the Boiler should be a main user in the mill operations while on the other hand, the main user of the water supply in DKLPO operations is the Hot Water Tank.
In conclusion, from the data collected and interpreted, the researcher had identified the total use of water supply in each equipment involved in the mill operations by doing the water footprint assessment. From the interpreted data, the researcher had made some recommendations for wastewater minimization as the water discharged from the mill operations is used only to fertilize the estate plantation. Therefore, the mill keeps using the water supply from river without reuse the wastewater in the mill operations which the water used recklessly.
As the recommendations of the solutions had been made by the researcher in the next chapter, the expected fresh water consumption by 30 percent and 15 percent wastewater reduction in this case study. Therefore, the increasing water reuse by palm oil mill would contribute to sustainable water management and minimizes the usage of fresh water.