Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Carl J. Bern

Second Advisor

Thomas J. Brumm

Abstract

The utilization of tropical fruit biomass as feedstock for biorenewable resources is an attractive proposition due to its abundance and potential to reduce reliance on conventional sources as well as the overall economic gain to all stakeholders. This study aims to pave the way towards successful and viable utilization of this feedstock by exploring and examining key physical and chemical traits of durian biomass, a major tropical fruit crop in Malaysia.

The study was divided into three main parts: identification of durian biomass moisture test method, characterization of physical and chemical properties of durian biomass for thermochemical conversion, and composting of durian biomass. In the first section, HORT 2 method was found to be the best available moisture content test and depending on the process optimization need, ground samples can provide the fastest accurate result, while cubed or whole samples provide easier handling but require adequate drying time and temperature. Durian biomass was found to be comparable to most biomass studied in the literature. Its low ash value and high calorific value, especially when compared to palm oil biomass which is currently used in co-firing plants, makes it an attractive option. For other thermochemical applications, high moisture and oxygen content in durian biomass requires drying and pretreatment for optimal processing. In the composting section, nutrient content observed from the analysis of the compost indicates that durian rind is suitable for greenhouse media application. However, pH conditioning, nutrient supplement, and particle size reduction are needed to amend and improve its quality.

Copyright Owner

Ahmad Safuan Bin Bujang

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

111 pages

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