Comparative study and experimental analysis of pellets from biomass sawdust and rice husk
Sawdust and rice husk are available in abundance and indigenous in Nigeria but have not been exploited because they cannot be used directly in combustion processes due to their loose form unless by pelleting or briquetting. This experimental study assesses the potential of pellets from sawdust (SD) and rice husk (RH). Pallet samples collected from mills were thereafter optimized in ratios (i.e. 90%RH:10%SD, 80%RH:20%SD, 70RH:30SD, 60%RH:40%SD, 50%RH:50%SD, 100%RH and 100%SD) using mixing ratio optimization model. Seven samples were produced using a manual screw press machine and were subsequently categorized in terms of calorific value (CV), proximate and ultimate analyses using the ASTM standards. Results showed that the 100%RH pellets have higher CV of 31,026.3kJ/kg and the 100%SD a value of 26,088.3kJ/kg while the optimized pellets range from 25,867.39kJ/kg to 27,063.60kJ/kg. The CV decreases with increasing ash content of the pellets. It was also observed from the proximate analysis that the 100%RH has low percentages of moisture content, volatile matter and ash content compared to others. The optimized pellets showed that SD has the tendency to reduce the sulfur content in RH; hence, a promising alternative source of energy to the conventional fossil fuel.
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