Enhancing efficiency of biomass carbonization for high Quality and quantity charcoal production by using Metallic clay insulated kiln
Mulei, Fredrick Mwange
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The main objective of this study was to construct a metallic clay insulated kiln to enhance charcoal yield in quality and quantity. This research project aims at improving the charcoal quality in terms of calorific value and smoke - free, and maximum yield of charcoal (per kilogram of biomass substrate loaded). The quantity of charcoal harvested per kilogram of primary four biomass materials loaded as substrates was determined in four tests in each substrate. The main objective was to develop metallic clay insulated kiln with high efficiency, economical and environmentally friendly. metallic clay insulated kiln would offer solution to the problems of low efficiencies of existing charcoal kilns, for example, Traditional Earth Mould Kiln, Mark V. Kiln, Beehive kiln, and Half Orange kiln, among others. These kilns have efficiency of 10%, 31%, 32% and 28.8%, respectively, compared to the achieved 40.85 ± 5.04 % for this metallic clay insulated kiln. In this research a metallic clay insulated kiln was constructed and tested. The major aspect is that a proto type 0.15 m' drum was used to provide feedstock housing. This was tightly covered such that no fraction of feedstock was burned to provide carbonization heat. Clay insulation housing was constructed while the drum was provided with metallic stands and each of the substrates was loaded in the drum. Insulation wall made of clay/mud was constructed to prevent heat loss from the drums and combustion area. The quantity of charcoal produced from the metallic clay insulated kiln was compared with the quantity of wood substrate used. To determine the quality of the charcoal (in terms of calorific value and smoke), universal standard charcoal testing method was used that is Water Boiling test. The quality of charcoal produced from the kiln was then compared with charcoal produced from other different existing kilns in the literature. The data analysis was done by the help of statistical package for social science (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel. In conclusion, efficiency of charcoal production should be emphasized so as to make the practice of charcoal production sustainable by use of metallic clay insulated kiln. It was also found that metallic clay insulated improved kiln had higher efficiency (40.85 ± 5.04 %) than existing kilns such as Beehive, Mark V, Half Orange, Traditional Earth Mould, drum kilns adopted by FAO and others. Adoption! utilization of the metallic clay insulated kiln (with high efficiency as obtained in this research project (40.85 ± 5.04 %)) will reduce/cut-off the problems experienced in use of the _existing low - efficiency kilns. It is both an economical benefit, and environmental friendly. Charcoal production using improved charcoal kilns with high efficiency would give much higher yields of charcoal of excellent quality (in sense of HHV and smoke-free). This can make the practice very profitable, and users will have motivation for sustainable production of charcoal.