Quality changes of superheated steam-dried fibers from oil palm empty fruit bunches

Rosdanelli Hasibuan, Wan Ramli Wan Daud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional drying of the fibers from oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) using flue gas from diesel burners frequently causes browning and dust explosion. Replacing the drying medium with superheated steam is expected to improve the quality of EFB fibers as well as improve the safety of the dryer operation. In this study, the effects of steam temperature and steam velocity on the quality of steam-dried EFB fibers was investigated. The drying experiment was carried out at atmospheric pressure with steam superficial velocity in the range of 0.3 to 0.49 m s-1 and temperature in the range of 135 to 200°C. Three quality parameters of the EFB fibers, the color, strength, and microstructure, were used to assess the changes in EFB fiber quality as a result of superheated steam drying. The color of the EFB fiber was either improved or not significantly degraded. The strength of the superheated steam-dried EFB fibers was higher than that of undried and hot air-dried EFB fibers. The microstructure of fresh undried EFB fibers as seen by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed the presence of round silica particles of 10-20 μm in diameter all over the EFB fiber strand, which complicates pulping and bleaching. Superheated steam drying successfully removed the silica particles from the EFB fibers at temperatures of at least 200°C and a velocity of steam of at most 0.49 m s-1, which is better than hammering, which can only remove 88% of the silica particles. The high temperature of the superheated steam loosened the silica particles from their craters. The EFB fibers cracked and split at steam velocities at or above 0.49 m s-1 and high superheated steam temperatures at or above 200°C and as a consequence became weaker at these conditions. The removal of silica particles by superheated steam drying makes the EFB fiber amenable to pulping and bleaching. Superheated steam drying is therefore found to improve the overall quality of EFB fibers compared to hot air drying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalDrying Technology
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Palm oil
fruits
Steam
Fruits
steam
oils
fibers
Fibers
drying
Drying
Silicon Dioxide
Silica
silicon dioxide
high temperature air
bleaching
Bleaching
Temperature
Color
color
drying apparatus

Keywords

  • Browning index
  • Fiber color
  • Fiber microstructure
  • Fiber strength
  • Superheated steam drying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this

Quality changes of superheated steam-dried fibers from oil palm empty fruit bunches. / Hasibuan, Rosdanelli; Wan Daud, Wan Ramli.

In: Drying Technology, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2009, p. 194-200.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Conventional drying of the fibers from oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) using flue gas from diesel burners frequently causes browning and dust explosion. Replacing the drying medium with superheated steam is expected to improve the quality of EFB fibers as well as improve the safety of the dryer operation. In this study, the effects of steam temperature and steam velocity on the quality of steam-dried EFB fibers was investigated. The drying experiment was carried out at atmospheric pressure with steam superficial velocity in the range of 0.3 to 0.49 m s-1 and temperature in the range of 135 to 200°C. Three quality parameters of the EFB fibers, the color, strength, and microstructure, were used to assess the changes in EFB fiber quality as a result of superheated steam drying. The color of the EFB fiber was either improved or not significantly degraded. The strength of the superheated steam-dried EFB fibers was higher than that of undried and hot air-dried EFB fibers. The microstructure of fresh undried EFB fibers as seen by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed the presence of round silica particles of 10-20 μm in diameter all over the EFB fiber strand, which complicates pulping and bleaching. Superheated steam drying successfully removed the silica particles from the EFB fibers at temperatures of at least 200°C and a velocity of steam of at most 0.49 m s-1, which is better than hammering, which can only remove 88{\%} of the silica particles. The high temperature of the superheated steam loosened the silica particles from their craters. The EFB fibers cracked and split at steam velocities at or above 0.49 m s-1 and high superheated steam temperatures at or above 200°C and as a consequence became weaker at these conditions. The removal of silica particles by superheated steam drying makes the EFB fiber amenable to pulping and bleaching. Superheated steam drying is therefore found to improve the overall quality of EFB fibers compared to hot air drying.",
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