Energy Characterisation of Briquettes Produced from Admixture of Arundo donax L. and Coconut Coir
The study was carried out to evaluate the combustible energy characteristics of briquettes produced from Arundo donax, coconut coir and admixture of both agricultural wastes, using cassava starch as binder. The 2 x 5 factorial experiment was carried out in a completely randomized design (CRD), and replicated 3 times to give a total of 15 samples. Physical parameters assessed in the study were: moisture content and density while combustion properties included: ash content, percentage fixed carbon, percentage volatile matter, heating value and water boiling test value. The results obtained from the assessment of the physical properties of the briquettes produced from the admixture of 50g Arundo donax and 50g of coconut coir showed the lowest mean value of 32.72+1.86% for moisture content while 100g of coconut coir recorded the highest density of 0.56+ 0.03g/cm3. For the combustion properties, it was observed that admixture of 50g of Arundo donax and 50g of coconut coir produced briquette with the lowest ash content of 4.33 +0.76%. The results also revealed that briquette produced form 50g of Arundo donax and 50g of coconut coir had the highest mean value of percentage fixed carbon, heating energy and cooking efficiency (water boiling test value) as 14.83 +1.89%, 32.13 + 255.39 kJ/g and 3.39 + 0.10 kJ/kg respectively. A relatively high volatile matter of 84.83 + 2.08% was also recorded for briquette from this admixture. Inspite of the limitations posed by the use of manual moulding equipment for the briquetting process -- low densification and less compression of loose biomass materials into briquette blocks -- biomass briquette was successfully produced., based on the results of this study, However, it is recommended that briquette should be produced from Arundo donax and coconut coir mixed together in equal proportion for improved combustion properties, due to its low moisture content, low ash content, high heating value, high percentage fixed carbon and highest cooking efficiency.
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