SELECTED ENGINEERING PROPERTIES OF PALM NUT (ELAEIS GUINEENSIS) REQUIRED IN THE DESIGN OF PALM KERNEL-SHELL SEPARATOR
Based on high dependence of many companies on palm kernel products for soap making vegetable oil and body cream, an efficient palm kernel-processing machine is therefore not only necessary but also important to regenerate the production of palm kernel oil in order to meet up with the ever increasing demand for the industries. Therefore, the knowledge of engineering properties becomes very important in the design of suitable and appropriate palm kernel-shell separator. The parameters investigated were linear dimensions, arithmetic mean and geometric mean diameters, surface area, sphericity, true and bulk densities, angle of repose, drag coefficient and terminal velocity of palm nut and kernel at 7.19 % and 9.5 % (d.b.) moisture content, respectively. The results revealed that average arithmetic mean diameter, geometric mean diameter, sphericity, surface area, angle of repose, drag coefficient and terminal velocity were 20.88/12.55 mm, 20.08/12.41 mm, 0.69/0.84 %, 104.67/485.31 mm2, 19.33/19.17 °, 1.93/1.22 and 5.72/3.21s m/s, respectively for nuts/kernel seeds. Some of the properties of the palm nut have been determined and found useful in the design and construction of palm kernel shell separator. These properties were needed as input to models or predicting the behaviour of agricultural produce in pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest conditions, to aid better understanding of processing and design of machines.