American Journal of Applied Sciences

Characterization of Bio-Oil: A By-Product from Slow Pyrolysis of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches

K. H. Khor, K. O. Lim and Z. A. Zainal

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2009.1647.1652

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 9

Pages 1647-1652


Problem statement: Oil palm Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) are abundant biomass in Malaysia. Studies about production of biofuels using slow pyrolysis of EFB are still lacking. So, this study was aimed to understand the physical and chemical properties of the bio-oil and its simple blends. Approach: EFB was slow pyrolysed with internal heating at terminal temperature of 600°C in a pilot kiln and the main product is the EFB char and the condensates from the emissions were separated into aqueous and tarry fractions. Results: 13 wt% of tarry component (referred as EFB oil) was obtained as small fraction of co-product. The chemical composition of the EFB oil acquired was analyzed by GC-MS and its elemental composition, stability, miscibility, oil fuel properties and corrosion characteristics were determined. The empirical formula of the EFB oil with heating value of 31.44 MJ kg-1 was established as CH1.41N0.03O0.24. Characterizations of bio-oil, diesel and emulsifier blends were performed. Conclusions/Recommendations: The experimental results showed that the emulsions of EFB oil obtained may be directly used as a fuel oil for combustion in a boiler or a furnace without any upgrading. Alternatively, the fuel may be refined to be used by vehicles.


© 2009 K. H. Khor, K. O. Lim and Z. A. Zainal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.