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Asian Journal of Scientific Research

Year: 2013  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 197 - 206

Downdraft Gasification of Oil Palm Frond: Effects of Temperature and Operation Time

M.N.Z. Moni and Shaharin A. Sulaiman

Abstract

Currently produced more than 40 million tons a year, only a small portion of oil palm frond is used as domestic animals forage and as raw material in small-scale furniture industry, while the rest is left at the plantation floor to naturally decompose. This study introduces oil palm frond as a solid biomass fuel for gasification to produce synthesis gas that can be utilized for heat and energy generation in a cleaner and more efficient manner than direct combustion. Oil palm frond was gasified in the downdraft gasifier at 700 to 1000°C reactor temperature with a controlled air supply of 180 to 200 L min-1. The effects of reactor temperature and operation time to the quality of syngas produced from oil palm frond downdraft gasification were investigated. At a calorific value around 18 MJ kg-1, oil palm frond was found to produce synthesis gas that sustainably burnt in air with a higher heating value of around 5 MJ N-1 m-3. Oil palm frond was found to be optimally producing syngas with desired energy content at a reactor temperature range of 700-900°C and within the first 45 min of gasifier operation.

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