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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1679734, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1679734
Research Article

An Experimental Study of Briquetting Process of Torrefied Rubber Seed Kernel and Palm Oil Shell

1School of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
2Science and Engineering Research Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
3School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Received 25 November 2015; Revised 14 April 2016; Accepted 22 May 2016

Academic Editor: Mads B. Pedersen

Copyright © 2016 M. Fadzli Hamid et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Torrefaction process of biomass material is essential in converting them into biofuel with improved calorific value and physical strength. However, the production of torrefied biomass is loose, powdery, and nonuniform. One method of upgrading this material to improve their handling and combustion properties is by densification into briquettes of higher density than the original bulk density of the material. The effects of critical parameters of briquetting process that includes the type of biomass material used for torrefaction and briquetting, densification temperature, and composition of binder for torrefied biomass are studied and characterized. Starch is used as a binder in the study. The results showed that the briquette of torrefied rubber seed kernel (RSK) is better than torrefied palm oil shell (POS) in both calorific value and compressive strength. The best quality of briquettes is yielded from torrefied RSK at the ambient temperature of briquetting process with the composition of 60% water and 5% binder. The maximum compressive load for the briquettes of torrefied RSK is 141 N and the calorific value is 16 MJ/kg. Based on the economic evaluation analysis, the return of investment (ROI) for the mass production of both RSK and POS briquettes is estimated in 2-year period and the annual profit after payback was approximately 107,428.6 USD.