Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 24  2012 December p.  1497-1510
DOI:

Pyrolsis of oil palm biomass using palm shell char as microwave absorber

Author(s): ARSHAD ADAM Salema* ; FARID NASIR Ani*

The main aim of this research was to reveal the heating characteristics of palm shell char (PSC) acting as a microwave absorber (MA) for the pyrolysis of oil palm biomass (shell and fibre). This was done by mixing oil palm biomass with PSC-MA and subjecting it to microwave irradiation. A domestic microwave oven with a maximum power of 1000 W and 2.45 GHz frequency was used. Prior to pyrolysis, the heating characteristic of PSC-MA in terms of its temperature profile (through batch and continuous temperature measurements) was examined. It was found that PSC-MA could act as very good microwave receptor. However, the method of temperature measurement played an important role in the heating and pyrolysis behaviour. A minimum microwave power of 450 W was needed to carry out the pyrolysis process in the present work. Results of the microwave pyrolysis show that the ratio of biomass to PSC-MA has a significant influence on the product yield. A synergistic effect between PSC-MA and the biomass can reduce the consumption of energy, time and cost of the thermo-chemical process.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* Department of Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.
E-mail: farid@fkm.utm.my


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