All the mills in Malaysia were set up to serve plantations that are fairly large and can produce sufficient crop for a mill capable of processing at least 20 t hr-1. This processing capacity would produce sufficient fuel for generating the required heat and power for the mill and as such may be termed an optimum sized self-supporting palm oil mill. Unfortunately, these mills used boilers and steam turbines that were custom-made to operate with minimum efficiency to address the issue of costly biomass disposal by burning it as a fuel in boilers. These boilers also doubled up as incinerators to burn away the surplus biomass. Unfortunately, nothing was done to find out the capacity of the smallest self-supporting mill. A new focus would invariably uncover new research areas where emphasis will be focused on maximum fuel efficiency and minimum waste. This article explores all the areas that would contribute in one way or other towards the development of the smallest self-supporting mini mill that can serve small plantations operating in isolation.
Keywords: MINI MILLS, PALM OIL MILLS, FUEL EFFICIENCY