RESEARCH ARTICLE

Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 21 (1) June 2009, p. 577-587

LABORATORY-SCALE PYROLYSIS OF OIL PALM PRESSED FRUIT FIBRES

Khor Kwan Hooi* ; ZAINAL ALIMUDDIN Zainal Alauddin** ; LIM Koon Ong*

ABSTRACT

The slow pyrolysis of oil palm pressed fruit fibres (PFF) was investigated in a laboratory-scale pyrolyser atterminal temperatures of 450°C to 800°C and a heating rate of 10°C min-1. The PFF was first pyrolysed in a thermogravimetric analyser (TGA) to investigate their thermal characteristics and to determine their kinetic parameters. Results from the laboratory-scale pyrolysis showed that as the terminal temperature increased, the yields of solid char and total condensates decreased, but the non-condensable gases increased. The quality of the char produced, which was found to be dependent on the terminal pyrolysis temperature, was of medium grade, as its average ash content of 16.60% was high. The best PFF char with 69.91% fixed carbon and an energy content of 27.07 MJ kg-1 was obtainable at a terminal pyrolysis temperature of 600°C. The chemical characterization of the liquid products, which separate into two fractions, showed that they may be a potential source of valuable fuel and chemical feedstocks.

KEYWORDS:


* Bioenergy Laboratory,
School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia,
11800 Minden,
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
E-mail: kkhooi@tm.net.my

** School of Mechanical Engineering,
Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia,
14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan,
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.