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In the last few decades, rapid global demand for edible oils has resulted in a significant increase in the land area of oil crop cultivation. In the process of extraction of palm oil from oil palm fruit, biomass materials such as palm pressed fibre (PPF) are generated as waste products. This research was undertaken to evaluate the use of palm pressed fibres as the substrates for the cultivation of Pleurotus pulmonarius which currently use sawdust. Seven different substrates (A to G) were prepared from saw
dust, palm press fibre (PPF), palm press fibre ash (PPFA), distilled water and Hoagland solution either alone or in combinations. These substrates were combined to investigate a probable effect of substrate combination on yield of P. pulmonarius. The highest yields were observed from substrates D
(comprising 50% PPF, 50% PPFA and water with a mean fresh weight of 95.0 g) and substrate F (comprising of 50% PPF, 50% PPFA and Hoagland solution with a mean fresh weight of 89.20 g). The performance of substrate combination of PPF, PPFA and water however compare favourably with that of PPF, PPFA and Hoagland solution combination under all growth and yield parameters investigated. Therefore, this study has revealed that with optimum use of the biomass generated from the palm waste, prevention of environmental pollution problems and conversion of low quality waste biomasses into a valuable high protein food can be achieved.
Key words: Pleurotus pulmonarius, substrates, palm pressed fibre, palm press fibre ash, Hoagland solution.