Slow Pyrolysis of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches

K.H. Khor, K.O. Lim


Biomass in the form of empty fruit bunches from oil palm trees (Elaeis guineensis) were pyrolysed in a laboratory-scale pyrolyser which was externally heated by a muffle furnace. The effects of pyrolysis temperature and heating rate on the yields and quality of the products were investigated. Pyrolysis runs were performed at terminal temperatures of 450 - 800 oC with heating rates of 5 and 10 oC min-1. Product yields were found to be significantly influenced by the pyrolysing conditions. The products were mainly solid char and the condensates separated into a tarry fraction (EFB oil) and an aqueous fraction. Char with 74.8 % fixed carbon and a calorific value of 28.61 MJ kg-1 was obtained at 550 oC when the heating rate was 5 oC min-1. The empirical formula of the EFB oil with a calorific value of 28.92 MJ kg-1 was established as CH1.49O0.42N0.02.


Biomass, empty fruit bunch (EFB), EFB char, EFB oil, pyrolysis

Full Text: