Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) is one of the solid wastes resulted in palm oil industries. In Indonesia, there are more than 6 million tons EFB produced in every year and it is still not be utilized properly yet. Based on the proximate and ultimate analysis, EFB can produce energy approximately 17.08 MJ/kg. The EFB may be converted as source of gas energy through the gasification process using gasifier. In the case of gasification performance, it is highly dependent on characteristics of EFB such as the material size, moisture content, air flow rate, and material density.
The study was to determine the performance of EFB gasification using 46 liter batch capacity of updraft gasifier. Gasification process was done at different air flow rates i.e 246.05 lpm, 366.07 lpm, 462.09 lpm, and 545.11 lpm; and different material pressures i.e 0.008 kg/cm2, 0.016 kg/cm2, kg/cm2, 0.024kg/cm2, and 0.032 kg/cm2, respectively.
The results of experiment showed that gasification of EFB with updraft gasifier could produce synthetic gas or syngas. Increasing the air flow rate and material pressures will increase the temperature inside reactor, flame temperature, methane content, gasification efficiency and energy efficiency. It was found that for each reactor the updraft gasification performance was the best at air flow rate 462.09 lpm and material pressure 0.024 kg/cm2 by obtaining 255.50°C temperature of gasification process, 396.48°C maximum temperature of gasification process, 468.70°C temperature flame, 639.74°C maximum temperature of flame, 42.75 minutes reaching flame, 6.02 kg/h rate of fuel feed, 10 minutes/kg effective time for gasification process, 0.5% methane, 77.08% efficiency of gasification process and 3,37% efficiency of energy.
Keywords: performance, updraft, EFB, air flow rate, pressure
Full article by Prof. Bambang Purwantana and Jemseng Carles Abineno