Performance Evaluation of a kenaf Decorticator

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Obafemi Awolowo University
The study determined the effect of operation parameters of a kenaf decorticator on the quantity and quality of fibre produced. This was with a view to establishing the optimal operating condition and its appropriateness for small and medium scale processing of kenaf. A field was planted with kenaf at the Teaching and Research Farm (T&RF) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. The field was maintained and monitored until the kenaf was 10 weeks old when the evaluation of the machine commenced. The kenaf decorticator was evaluated using different operation parameters, which include plant age (10, 11 and 12 weeks after planting), kenaf stem size (small, medium and large) and decorticator speeds (520, 600 and 680 rpm). The experiment is a 3 by 3 factorial experiment in three replicates. The indices used to determine the performance of the machine were: the weight (kg) of quantity of fibre generated in kg, weight (kg) of quantity of waste collected from the machine and time taken to complete each of the experiments. Data collected were subjected to 3-way ANOVA using Statistical Analysis System (SAS) System software to determine the effect of the processing condition on the throughput capacity, percentage of fibre decorticated and machine extraction efficiency. This results obtained showed that the highest mean of throughput value generated was 614.70 kg/h. This was obtained when the machine was operated at 600 rpm using large kenaf size harvested at 12 weeks after planting. The percentage of kenaf fibre trapped in the machine decreased from 24 to 13% as the speed decreases from 600 to 520 rpm and percentage waste collected decreased from 54 to 32%. These show that the best fibre was obtained when large kenaf stem was decorticated, and the speed of the machine was between 520 to 600 rpm. The percentage decorticated also increased from 31 to 49% as the speed decreases to 520 rpm. This shows that the best fibre was obtained when the kenaf stem was large, speed of decorticator was 520 rpm and age of kenaf was 12 weeks old. The kenaf extraction efficiency increased from 74 to 91% as the speed deceased to 520 rpm, kenaf size was large and at 12 weeks after planting. The study concluded that the optimal operational parameters of the machine was 520 rpm with large kenaf size and 12 week of kenaf maturity. The machine has the capacity to decorticate 0.4 ton of kenaf per hour.
Pages 93,xv
Kenaf Decorticator, Teaching and Research Farm, Obafemi Awolowo University, Fibre, plant Age
Thomas Adedayo Ayorinde(2015)Performance Evaluation of a Kenaf Decorticator