PRODUCTION OF PALM FIBRE BRIQUETTES AND THE DETERMINATION OF ELEMENTAL COMPOSITION AND CALORIFIC VALUE
Oil palm briquettes were produced from smooth palm kernel fibre (PKF) of 2.00mm & 2.40mm mesh sizes and binded using polyvinyl acetate obtained as (top bond) and starch, both as binders and subjected to pressure to produce four different briquettes. The briquettes were then subjected to further analysis to determine levels of toxic metals and calorific values. Results showed that the briquettes were devoid of toxic elements like silver, arsenic, cobalt, manganese and lead thus, making it safe for usage. It was also proven from the results that briquettes with polyvinyl acetate (top bond) as binder have a better resin property with calorific values of 1055.4J/g & 1179.6J/g for 2.00mm and 2.40mm mesh sizes respectively as against starch with calorific values of 1265.1J/g & 438.46J/g of respective mesh sizes of 2.00mm & 2.40mm. Also briquettes with smaller mesh sizes tend to have the highest combustion rate. The study show that , fuel briquettes from PKF especially 2.00mm mesh size using polyvinyl acetate ( PVA) as binder could serve as alternative source of energy for domestic and industrial applications.