Modification of a Fixed Bed Reactor System for Pyrolytic Conversion of Royal Poinciana Pods into Alternative Fuels

Helen Oluwatosin Olagbende, Elizabeth Funmilayo Aransiola, Babatunde S Ogunsina, Olayinka Sanda, Damilola Shonibare


 An existing fixed bed pyrolytic reactor was modified, constructed and tested. Dry and matured royal poinciana

(Delonix regia ) pods obtained from Obafemi Awolowo University campus in Ile-Ife were shelled manually to obtain the husk

and seed fractions. Some physicochemical properties and proximate composition of the pods and seeds were investigated

following standard procedures. Delonix regia  pods and seeds samples were pyrolysed considering five temperature levels (300

- 500 o C at 50 o C interval, each lasting 7 h). The reactor utilizes a 3 kW electrical heating source to decompose bio-material

subject to different temperatures. The system is fitted with a condenser for cooling and to maximize bio-oil recovery. The

alternative fuel products (char and bio-oil) obtained were analysed for yield, ultimate and chemical composition using gas

chromatography –  mass spectrometry. The yield of bio-oil derived from the seed was found to be relatively higher than that of

the pod and husk; however, all samples produced significant amount of char. The chief chemical constituents in the bio-oil

were carboxylic acids, amines, amides, pyridines and phenols. This study show that Delonix regia  tree, which hitherto, was

grown merely as an ornamental plant, can be explored for alternative fuels production.


Pyrolysis, modification; Delonix regia; pods; alternative fuels

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