AbstractA characterization study on oil palm decanter cakes (OPDC) was performed to gain an in-depth understanding of the material’s characteristics to aid in potential residual oil recovery. The OPDC was characterized by a high moisture content, high biodegradability, high organic content, and a nutrient-rich composition. Microscopic observation showed that the oil attachments in OPDC, and a vast majority of the droplets, were less than 50 μm in size. Furthermore, contact angle measurement revealed the hydrophilic and oleophilic characteristics of OPDC. Specifically, the contact angles of water and crude palm oil (CPO) with OPDC were both less than 45° with absorption rates of 0.0265 ± 0.003 µL/s and 0.1042 ± 0.05 µL/s, respectively. The OPDC is a fibrous material, and the surface area and pore size measured were 7.103 m2/g and 481.7 Å, respectively. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric (TG) analysis results showed the functional groups and degradation properties of OPDC, respectively.