Palm kernel shell is an important by-product of oil palm production. It is often neglected and handled as waste in the product mix of palm oil production. One kilogram of PKS was pyrolized in a bench scale pyrolysis screw reactor at temperature range of 450°C to 500°C in 10mins. The process yielded 61 wt%, 24.5 wt% and 14 wt% bio-oil, bio-char and non condensable flammable gas respectively. Palm Kernel shell is relatively abundant in the tropical West Africa and Asia. Until recently PKS is commonly combusted for cooking purposes which contributes to total GHG emission. The products were characterized by determining their physical and chemical properties using standard methods. The thermochemical conversion shows that there is 29% and 26% increase in the higher heating values and lower heating values (on dry basis) respectively, of the bio-oil obtained when compared with the energy values of the original PKS. Similarly, the HHV of the bio-char is 62% higher than that of the original PKS. In addition the results of the GC-MS analysis of the bio-oil show that it contains useful chemicals that can be harnessed for industrial applications. The ash content of the bio-oil and the original PKS sample are 0.37% and 8.68% respectively, on as received, while the results of the elemental analyses show that there is < 0.08% and < 0.05% sulphur content of the PKS and its bio-oil respectively. This makes the products an environmentally suitable fuels for transportation and power generation. The results of this work show that the products compare well with those of other woody samples used for commercial pyrolysis process. PKS bio-char possesses the potential to be used as industrial absorbent in water treatment and process technology. Hence, PKS can be harnessed as potential future source of bio-energy and Activated carbon, and as such should be given adequate attention as a major product of oil palm processing for sustainable economic development of emerging economies.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
Thermochemical Conversion of Palm Kernel Shell (PKS) to Bio-Energy
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Okoroigwe, EC, Li, Z, Unachukwu, G, Stuecken, T, & Saffron, C. "Thermochemical Conversion of Palm Kernel Shell (PKS) to Bio-Energy." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 5th International Conference on Energy Sustainability. ASME 2011 5th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A, B, and C. Washington, DC, USA. August 7–10, 2011. pp. 1183-1191. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ES2011-54690
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