The effects of moisture content, fiber length and compaction time on African oil palm empty fruit bunches briquette quality parameters
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In this paper a study on the process of densification of oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) is presented. An empirical-statistical model that allows the evaluation of densification process is obtained through an experimental factorial design. The main purpose of the experimental arrangement is to find the appropriate reference values for the experimental factors - moisture content, fiber length and compaction time-with which optimal performance responses of briquettes are achieved. Statistical models are obtained that explain in an acceptable way the influence of independent experimental factors on the mechanical properties of briquettes, such as briquettes density, durability index and compressive strength. It is possible to conclude that briquettes manufactured with the appropriate reference values, moisture content of 8% w.b., fiber length of 73.6 mm and a compaction time of 26.6 s respectively, meet mechanical and thermal requirements that are required in the most representative standards for biomass briquettes for energy purposes. Results obtained in the current investigation can be used as reference for the design of an industrial pilot plant destined to the densification of EFB of African oil palm.