Carbonisation of Oil Palm Fronds

K.H. Khor, K.O. Lim


Among renewable energy sources, biomass has a great potential for commercial usage. Pyrolysis is one of the most promising thermal conversion processes for biomass. In this study, pruned oil palm fronds (OPF) from the plantation were carbonised at terminal temperatures of 450-800 oC with a holding time of 1 hour and at a constant heating rate of 10 oC min-1. A lab-scale pyrolyser was used and the emissions were condensed to result in charcoal, liquid (tarry and aqueous fractions) and gaseous products. The quality of the charcoal produced, which was found to be somewhat dependent on the terminal pyrolysis temperature is of medium grade. The best OPF charcoal with 75.54 % of fixed carbon and an energy content of 28.92 MJ kg-1 was obtained at a terminal pyrolysis temperature of 750 oC. The chemical characterization of the liquid products showed that  both fractions may be a potential source of valuable fuel and chemical feedstocks.


Biomass, Carbonisation, Oil palm fronds (OPF), Charcoal.

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