Experimental Characterization of Maize Cob and Stalk Based Pellets for Energy Use
The quest for alternative energy sources is gradually shifting from natural fossil fuel to alternative bio-resources especially agricultural waste products due to their reduced pollution risk and sustainability. This study seeks to investigate the suitability of plant residue pellets to produce biomass. The plant residues investigated include corn cob and corn stalk. Three samples produced include 100% granulated corn cob residues, 100% granulated stalks and a composite of 50:50% granulated corn cobs and stalk residues. The mixed residues were pelletized using cassava starch as a binder. The pellets were experimentally analyzed using ultimate, proximate and calorimetry analyses. Among three sets of maize residue pellets investigated, the result of the cob-stalk 50:50% combination show that it has 0.64% nitrogen, 48.57% carbon, 0.38% Sulphur, 6.22% hydrogen, 55.81% oxygen, 3.25% moisture content, 2.20% ash content, 80.0% volatile matter, 17.80% fixed carbon percentage, HHV of 32.9 kJ/kg, an average CO2 value of 563±50 PPM, an average CO value of 100±50 PPM, an average value of 69±4% relative humidity and an average temperature of 27.5±0.5%. The study reiterates that corn stalk is a good bio-fuel and should be encouraged to address the current energy shortfalls in the country.
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