Palm Oil processing
yields a considerable quantity of palm kernel shell (PKS) and mesocarp fruit
fiber (MFF). This has been predominantly used as fuel through direct combustion
which is inefficient and polluting. Better grade fuel could be derived through
torrefaction. The objectives of the work therefore was to determine the optimum
parameters for the conversion of palm kernel shell (PKS) and mesocarp fruit
fiber (MFF) to high grade fuel via torrefaction.
Samples of PKS and
MFF were torrefied with a temperature range of 200°C to 350°C at the step of
30°C. The torrefied product yield were determined by weighing, proximate,
ultimate analysis of the torrefied product were determined using A.O.A.C.
method. The higher heating value was calculated using Dulong Petit. Percentage
torrefied product decreases as the reaction temperature increases, from 71.70%
to 56.32% for 200°C to 350°C. The higher heating value ranges from 8607.6MJ/Kg
to 9510.4MJ/Kg for 200°C to 350°C respectively. Palm kernel shell has higher
heating value when compared with mesocarp fruit fiber. PKS at 350°C had the
highest value for HHV palm kernel shell and mesocarp fruit fibre torrefied.
Energy exists in
different forms, all of which measure the ability of an object or system to do
work on another object or system. Energy is fundamental to the survival of
people, it is used in different areas of life such as; source of light and also
for powering our vehicles, trains, planes, and rockets, machinery and tractor
on the farm. The different forms of energy includes; electrical, fossil fuels
with quite a number of availability in the form of coal, oil and natural
gasses; hydro and energy, nuclear and wind energy.(www.
The United States of
America analyses the rate of depletion done to the ozone layer as a result of
wide use of fossil fuel which serves as the bulk of energy in use and
discovered that the rate of depletion has greatly increased. This was due to
the harmful elements released after the burning of petroleum fuels as stated by
chemical released to the atmosphere which cause changes in atmospheric
condition, human health deterioration serves as point of the challenges to look
into an alternative source of energy. However, increasing population and
development of the third world countries caused an increased in the demand for
traditional fuel which is a common type known as biomass energy.
Biomass energy is
another form of renewable energy source and it is derived from living or dead
organisms like plants, waste and alcohol mostly
The major sources of
biomass include; waste materials from industrial processes, waste material from
pulping industries and municipal waste. When energy is extracted from alcohol or
from the fiber present in the corn, it is known as ethanol fuel. This ethanol
fuel is really helpful in providing fuel to the cars and farm tractors.
Biomass energy can
also be sourced from various kinds of agricultural processed refuse like polar,
willow, hem, corn, miscanthus, sugar cane, spice trees, eucalyptus, switch
grass and sorghum. The mentioned sources of biomass energy have one or more
effect on the living organism, human and the living environment. Some of the
effect which includes deforestation, competition with food materials and other
industrial usage which is a result of more demand for
such product, hence
the need for research into a less competitive products in term of the
environment and the inhabiting organism which will reduce the use of other
mentioned in term of their economic and industrial demand. Hence the need for
the choice of palm kernel shell and mesocarp fruit fiber.
The conversion of
biomass into useful energy can produce heat and electricity. This includes:
thermal conversion, biochemical method, and mechanical methods of conversion.
The mechanical method
of conversion involves compressing the materials together which is known as
briquetting while biochemical method of conversion entails biological
activities such as fermentation, aerobic activities on the materials and the
introduction of micro organism on the material. This method of conversion works
better for non- lignocellulosic.
The thermal method of
conversion involves the use of heat, which include; direct combustion, gasification,
pyrolysis, torrefaction (www.renewablesolarenergy.com, 2015). Direct combustion
ways of conversion is done in the presence of oxygen to produce heat, light and
particulate, which can pose hazardous substances to the health of the user.
Gasification process converts biomass completely to combustible gases as stated
by Mark, (2005). However this process is good for on-site. Pyrolysis which
occurs at temperature range of temperature range of 400°C to 800°C in the
absence of Oxygen (Jianghong, 2007). The final products include the liquid,
solid and gas, are about 70% efficient. Torrefaction on the other hand is
another thermal method of biomass conversion which according to (Jianghong,
2007), has higher conversion efficiency of about 90%. Therefore this work
focused on torrefaction. However, from literature available for review little
has been done on this method. As a result, there is a need of determining
optimum conversion parameters for torrefaction of Palm Kernel Shell(PKS) and
Mesocarp Fruit Fiber(MFF).
The rate of depletion
of the ozone layer been increased due to the harmful or heavy elements released
after the burning of petroleum fuels to be precise the invention of
chlorofluoro carbon increased the rate of depletion. The increasing population
and development of the third world countries caused an increase in the demand
for traditional fuel. The fast rate of forest destruction (deforestation) and
low rate of replacement (aforestation) has simultaneously rescued the availability
Due to the over
dependence of developing countries on firewood, deforestation has set in, which
makes a country like Nigeria cost approximately 464 square miles of forest each
year to these human activities.
A quest for cleaner
fuel in the developed country also lead to a series of research into what and
what can be used to generate heat without having to burn fossil fuel. Hence the
need for a less industrial and food competing materials which is the palm
kernel shell and Mesocarp fruit fiber.
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The objectives of
this work therefore include;
i. Conversion of Palm
Kernel Shell and Mesocarp Fruit Fiber samples to fuel at reaction temperature
of 200°C to 350°C at the step of 30°C.
ii. ii. Determination
of effect of reaction temperature on torrefied products.
Determination of combustion characteristics such as; Volatile Content,
Nitrogen, Carbon, Oxygen, Sulphur, Fixed carbon, Moisture Content, Hydrogen
Content Ash Content.
hydroelectric, power and solar power are the most important sources of
renewable energy while petroleum product as the major non renewable energy used
in Nigeria today.
in its own part is expensive and the price increases at interval, during
exploration and use it also has environmental hazards. Firewood usage on a
perennial bases leads to deforestation, solar power is expensive to install and
cheap to maintain but there should be consideration for less sunny days during
which less or no power is produced.
Therefore, there is
need for the production of less smoky fuel using palm kernel shell and Mesocarp