Importance of Access to Palm Oil Study Raised

Importance of Access to Palm Oil Study Raised

KUALA LUMPUR: The need for proper data compilation for the life cycle assessment (LCA) study on palm oil production to counter outdated and misleading data from Western countries used in the calculation of palm oil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was highlighted at a palm oil conference here yesterday.

The setting up of a special LCA task force on palm oil was also a key point at the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) International Palm Oil LCA Conference.

Germany-based IFEU Institute for Energy and Environment Research scientic director Dr Gudo A. Reinhardt said it was important to access additional and specific LCA data on palm oil and other oilseed crops given the growing debate on issues such as GHG, fossil-fuel savings, indirect land use and other social implications.

>He said an overview of the full life cycle of GHG balances of biofuels from oil crops such as palm oil, rapeseed, sunflower, canola, Jatropha, soybean and coconut, compared to their fossil fuel equivalent, was needed and should also include both scientific and legislative approaches.

MPOC chief executive Tan Sri Yusof Basiron wants more scientific-based decisions be made on LCA.

“There must also be consideration for carbon sequestration by living plants, carbon sequestered on long-term basis for oil palm and rubber and indirect land use change factors,” he said.

Sirim Bhd Environment and Bioprocess Techology Centre senior general manager Dr Chen Sau Soon said the wrong data input could influence the carbon footprint in the trading of palm oil products.

In the case of LCA studies on palm oil products, the most complex data collection phase was the upstream unit processes involving the agriculture practices, she added.

“Raw data treatment for agriculture practices can also vary from several perspectives such as inclusion versus exclusion of land use within the system boundary, interpretation of carbon sequestration and carbon loss, emission associated with land fertilisation and adoption of default values for calculating estimates,” she said.

The Star

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