Determining the Optimal Product Yields from the Pyrolytic Conversion of Oil Palm Trunk

Olukunle E. Itabiyi, Emanuel B. Lucas


Experimental and analytical methods were employed to obtain the combination of parameters to optimise product yields from the pyrolysis of oil palm trunk (OPT). Sample (0.5kg) of oven-dried OPT was loaded into a steel retort, and the retort interior was rendered airtight. The retort was then placed into the furnace chamber and the OPT was pyrolysed for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 minutes at 300 oC. This was repeated for temperatures of 400, 500, 600 and 700 oC and in each case, the quantities of char, tar and pyro - gas produced were determined.  Full-Factorial Design (FFD), comprising two factors – temperature and duration of pyrolysis – at three levels, was employed to study the pattern of char, tar and pyro – gas yields. Thirteen experimental runs resulted from the FFD, with a minimum product yield of 0.7 % and maximum product yield of 98 %. Response surface methodology was used to analyse the results of the FFD of the product yields of OPT. The optimum conversion yields of oven-dried weight of OPT of char, tar and gas products at their respective pyrolysis conditions were 98 wt% char at 300 oC and 10 min., 39 wt% tar at 310 oC and 28 min., and 50 wt% gas at 700 oC and 30 min. The results of the work show that OPT can be readily pyrolised to obtain optimum yield of gas, tar and char.

Keywords: Pyrolysis, Oil-palm Trunk, Gas, Tar, Char and Response surface methodology.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3232 ISSN (Online)2225-0573

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