To cite this article: Tan, J. P. et al. (2017). Overview of the potential of bio-succinic acid production from oil palm fronds. J. Phys. Sci., 28(Supp. 1), 53–72, https://doi.org/10.21315/jps2017.28.s1.4
The realisation on the environmental impact, depletion of fossil fuel and the importance of sustainable technology are among the driving forces for replacing petrochemical approaches with biological methods. Bio-succinic acid production in this regards was listed as one of the potential chemical building blocks to be commercially produced via biological approach by the United States Department of Energy in 2004. Bio-succinic acid production has a net zero carbon footprints and 30%–40% less energy consumption. Moreover, the economic potential has surpassed the conventional petrochemical approach. This had led to the commercialisation of bio-succinic acid around the world in the past three years. This mini review serves to investigate the potential of oil palm fronds for the production of bio-succinic acid. Different reported renewable carbon sources for the production of bio-succinic acid were compared with oil palm fronds in terms of cost and availability. There is approximately 250 million metric tonnes of oil palm fronds with 68.3% structural carbohydrate. It has an approximate potential capacity of producing as much as 30.8 million metric tonnes of bio-succinic acid per annum worldwide. Oil palm fronds turned out to be the cheapest biomass (lower than USD 20/tonne) as compared to the other 12 biomasses reported for the production of bio-succinic acid.