OPTIMIZATION OF CHAR IN THE PYROLYSIS OF PALM KERNEL SHELL USING RESPONSE SURFACE METHODOLOGY
Palm oil production yields a considerable quantity of palm kernel shell (PKS). This is locally burnt as fuel for domestic cooking as well as in blacksmith and goldsmith operations. Medium-grade fuel such as char can be derived from PKS through pyrolysis. The optimization of the char yield was investigated using a central composite design of the response surface methodology in a batch reactor. A three -factor three-level design comprising the reaction temperature and provenance were taken as quantitative variables, while varieties a qualitative variable and yield was taken as the response. This study optimized char yield from palm kernel shell (PKS)through pyrolysis. Increasing reaction temperature generally decreased char yields. Variety type, reaction temperature, and provenance all significantly (p < 0.05) affected char yields for both Dura and Tenera varieties studied. The char yield obtained from Tenera variety was greater than Dura variety. The optimized temperature for both Tenera and Dura varieties was 400oC with yield of 46.85 and 42.68 % respectively, while Odeda provenance representing derived savannah provenance was the best location producing the optimal yield.