Non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil production in Thailand

Kanokwan Saswattecha*, Melissa Cuevas Romero, Lars Hein, Warit Jawjit, Carolien Kroeze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The global demand for palm oil has been increasing during the past two decades. As a result, there has been an expansion of oil palm plantations and palm oil production, in particular in South East Asia. This contributes to a number of environmental problems. In this study, we focus on non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil production in Thailand, the third largest palm oil producing country in the world. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is typically emitted during fuel combustion in production processes. In addition, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are emitted during palm oil production. We quantified current and future emissions of CH4 and N2O based on future projections for palm oil production in Thailand. Our analysis distinguishes between emissions from oil palm plantations and palm oil processing mills. Our study shows that nitrogen fertilizers are the main source of N2O emissions, while CH4 is emitted mainly from inappropriate management of empty fruit bunches and wastewater management. We also analysed the effect of possible options to reduce emissions of CH4 and N2O, illustrating the potential for emission reduction in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-85
JournalJournal of integrative Environmental Sciences
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • Palm oil
  • reduction options
  • RSPO

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