Design and Fabrication of an Improved Low Cost Biomass Briquetting Machine Suitable for use in Nigeria
Keywords:Briquetting, Design, Biomass, Fabrication, Calorific Value
Briquetting is a mechanical compaction process for increasing the density of bulky materials. Nigeria’s current energy requirements for industrial, commercial and domestic needs cannot be met by our national electric grid which at present can only generate 5000MW for Nigeria growing population. In this research work, an improved low cost biomass briquetting machine was successfully designed and fabricated for local use in Nigeria. Preliminary tests were carried out to determine the compression ratio required (compression pressure) and the type of mould to be used. Design considerations that guided in the generation of a conceptual design that satisfy the functional requirements were established. The briquette machine design was based on mechanical (hydraulic or piston) compression principle. The machine is operated manually by a hydraulic system to generate pressure required for compression. The results obtained from the design calculation reveal that force exerted on plunger (F1) is 490.5N, total compaction force of 355.03N, total compaction pressure of 2MPa, maximum bending stress of 456MPa, projected area of 0.015m2, total force acting upward exerted by the spring is 654N and a pressure of 4.34MPa is exerted on the compression piston. Analysis carried out on the produced briquette from the biomass (elephant grass) by the fabricated machine reveals that the machine performance is satisfactory. The biomass (elephant grass) had calorific values of 14011.2KJ/kg before briquetting. The calorific value increased to 15013.9KJ/Kg after formation of briquette. This increase is partly attributed to the moisture content of the biomass.
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