This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
The thermal behaviour and decomposition kinetics of pelletized oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) was investigated in this study using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The OPEFB pellets were heated from room temperature to 1000 ºC at different heating rates; 5, 10 and 20 °C min-1 under inert atmosphere. Thermal degradation occurred in three steps; drying, devolatization and char decomposition. Subsequently, the Popescu method was applied to the TG/DTG data to determine the kinetic parameters of the OPEFB pellets. The activation energy, E, for different degrees of conversion, α = 0.05 to 0.7 are 36.60 kJ/mol to 233.90 kJ/mol with high correlation R2 values. In addition, the drying and decomposition of lignin reactions displayed lower E values compared to the devolatization characterized by high E value of 233 kJ/mol at α = 0.2. This indicates that the devolatization process is slower and requires higher energy requirement to reach completion than the other stages of thermal decomposition of the fuel under inert atmosphere. Keywords: decomposition, kinetics, oil palm, empty fruit bunch, pyrolysis.
This paper was submitted to the 12th International Conference of Young Scientists on Energy Issues May 27-28, 2015, Lithuanian Energy Institute, Kaunas, Lithuania.