Determination of Calorific Values of Some Nigerian Bio-Mass Solid Materials
Nigerian biomass for thermal energy generation can be classified into field wastes, such as straw and corn cob; processing by products, such as rice husk, cocoa pods and palm kernel husk; and products from the lumber industry, such as saw dust, fire wood and wood shavings. These materials are produced in sufficiently large quantities within the country to warrant a thorough study on their potential utilization as renewable energy sources. This paper deals with the experimental determination of the calorific values of some Nigerian solid fuel materials such as rice husk, corn cob, corn grain, corn stover, saw dust, wood shavings, palm kernel husk and coal. Mixtures of these materials (1:1) were also investigated. Calorific values were determined by standard methods using the adiabatic bomb calorimeter and ultimate analysis of the biomass. The results showed that gross calorific values ranged from 19,642 KJ/kg for palm kernel husk to 13,643 KJ/kg for rice husk which compared favourably with Nigeria’s sub-bituminous coal with across calorific value of 28,466 KJ/kg. Calorific values were found to be inversely dependent on moisture content of the biomass, which is significant in determining energy availability from biomass.