MICROWAVE-ASSISTED PYROLYSIS OF OIL PALM SHELL BIOMASS
Keywords:Microwave, Fast pyrolysis, Oil palm shell (OPS), Bio-oil, Biomass
AbstractA new technique was developed for microwave pyrolysis in which inert nitrogen gas was supplied from the top of the reactor. It is established that by the use of this technique, the problem of bio-oil deposition onto the reactor walls was solved. The pyrolysis of oil palm shell (OPS) was conducted in a microwave oven using an activated carbon as microwave absorber. The temperature profiles, product yield, as well as the properties of the pyrolysis products were found to be effected by the amount of microwave absorber and the stirrer speed, which this fact can be used to control the product quality. It was found that increasing the amount of microwave absorber as well as the stirrer speed reduced the yield of bio-oil. An increase in microwave absorber percentage has the effect of increasing the amount of phenol present in the bio-oil with maximum of 84.76 area % phenol obtained at 75% microwave absorber at 100 rpm stirrer speed. The maximum bio-oil yield of 28 wt. % was obtained at 25% microwave absorber at 50 rpm stirrer speed. The maximum calorific value of the bio-char was found to be 29.5 MJ/kg obtained at 50% microwave absorber at 100 rpm stirrer speed. High calorific value of the biochar could be utilised as solid fuel in many heating applications. Furthermore, the GC-MS characterisation of the bio-oil shows that the constituents are mostly phenol and its derivatives which are valuable chemicals having a wide range of applications and the potential to be an alternative to their petroleum-derived counterparts.
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