• A literature review of potential uses of palm oil mill biomass was carried out.
  • The current state of the art of technologies for the conversion of Palm Oil Mill wastes into valuable products is discussed.
  • The literature on Palm Oil Mill biorefineries was also reviewed.


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.