Nypa palm

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Bioenergy > Feedstocks > Ethanol feedstocks > Nypa palm

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Nypa palms growing in a brackish water estuary in Sri Lanka.

Nypa fruticans - known as the Attap Palm (Singapore), Nipa Palm (Philippines), and Mangrove Palm or Nipah palm (Malaysia) - grows in brackish water, and is the only palm considered to be a mangrove. Nypa palms produce large quantities of a sugar-rich sap that can be used for ethanol production. Nypa palm has been reported to have ethanol yields ranging from 6480[1] to 20,000 liters/ha, which makes it several times more productive then the sugarcane. Nypa palms can be tapped after they are 5 years old[2] and continue to produce until they are about 50.




Environmental Sustainability

  • Nypa palms have several qualities that make them potentially sustainable.
    • They are perennials that can be tapped year round.
    • Tapping potentially produces less waste then fruit production, such as with oil palms.
    • Large stands appear in the wild[3], meaning that it is possible to utilize wild growth rather then develop commercial plantations.
  • However, the impact of large-scale tapping on ecosystems has not been determined.
  • Nypa palms are an invasive species in Nigeria and elsewhere, that are threatening native mangrove populations.[4]

Greenhouse Gases



Land Degradation

Social Sustainability

(Look here in the future for information on employment, job creation, adverse effects on indigenous peoples, gender issues, etc.)





  • The Malaysian state of Perak has leased over 10,000 hectares of land with wild Nypa palm to Pioneer Bio Industries Corp Sdn Bhd to tap to produce ethanol. This is the first such project in the world.[5]
    • The state expects $92.2 million in annual income from the lease.[6]
    • The company has also been given permission to convert 1000 ha of coconut palm plantations to Nypa palm.[6]

Academic Papers

News (See also News and country pages)

Relevant countries

  • Malaysia - Currently has the only commercial Nypa ethanol program in the world.
  • Indonesia
  • Nigeria - Nypa is an invasive species that has taken over thousands of hectares of native mangrove swamp.

External Resources


  1. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/04/malaysian_compa.html
  2. http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/palm_nipah.htm
  4. http://biopact.com/2007/03/nypa-ethanol-in-niger-delta.html
  5. http://biopact.com/2006/12/malaysian-company-to-produce-ethanol.html
  6. 6.0 6.1 http://biopact.com/2007/01/nipah-ethanol-project-receives-major.html

Tropical feedstocks for bioenergy edit
Bamboo (Charcoal) | Cassava (Biodiesel and Bioethanol) | Coconut palm (Biodiesel) | Jatropha (Biodiesel) | Nypa palm (Bioethanol) | Oil palm (Biodiesel) | Sugar cane (Bioethanol)
Bioenergy feedstocks edit

Biodiesel feedstocks:
Currently in use: Animal fat | Castor beans | Coconut oil | Jatropha | Jojoba | Karanj | Palm oil | Rapeseed | Soybeans | Sunflower seed | Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO)
Currently in research and development: Algae | Halophytes (Salt-tolerant plants)

Ethanol feedstocks:
First-generation: Cassava | Corn | Milo | Nypa palm | Sorghum | Sugar beets | Sugar cane | Sugar palm |Sweet potato | Waste citrus peels | Wheat | Whey
Second-generation: For cellulosic technology - Grasses: Miscanthus, Prairie grasses, Switchgrass | Trees: Hybrid poplar, Mesquite, Willow

Charcoal feedstocks: Bamboo | Wood
Waste-to-energy (MSW)


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