DETERMINATION OF BIO-ENERGY POTENTIAL OF PALM KERNEL SHELL BY PHYSICOCHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION
Keywords:Palm Kernel shell, bioenergy, Thermogravimetric analysis, pyrolysis, gasification
Palm Kernel Shell (PKS) is an economically and environmentally sustainable raw material for renewable energy industry. To this vane its physicochemical properties were determined for its most viable application in Renewable Energy options such as bioenergy and biomass utilization. Its higher heating values determined by bomb calorimetric method are 22.94 and 25.27MJ/kg on dry and dry ash free bases respectively while its thermo-gravimetric behavior shows that it can completely decompose between 400oC and 500oC. Its compositional analysis by 72% sulphuric acid hydrolysis and High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis of structural carbohydrates show that its lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose compositions are respectively 50%, 7% and 26%. Under high resolution scan electron microscope, (SEM), PKS contains natural micro pores that enable it release volatile matter necessary for bio-energy production. The results of the ultimate analysis show that the raw material contains high carbon and moderate hydrogen content. These are responsible for the large value of its higher heating value. These results show that PKS possess valuable potential to supplement the energy supply of developing countries through sustainable renewable energy technologies.
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