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Raw Materials as Biofuel Pellets Essay

In the Philippines, forests and woodlands cover about 7,168,400 hectares (http://forestry.denr.gov.ph). These forests have unique environmental and biodiversity values, and make available a wide range of products for subsistence use. The most predominant use of wood is in the form of firewood and charcoal by the majority of Filipinos in both rural and urban areas. Firewood is preferred in rural areas simply because it is obtainable free of charge. Charcoal is preferred in urban areas on account of its being cheap, easy to transport, distribute and store. It is almost smokeless and has higher calorific value A(30 MJ/kg) than firewood (15MJ/kg).

But according to the U.N. FAO (2003), the woodlands have experienced highest rates of degradation and deforestation compared to other cover classes. This could be attributed to selective cutting for timber and clear felling of trees for both charcoal production and cultivation. Charcoal production is responsible for degradation and deforestation.Between 1990 and 2010, the Philippines lost an average of 54,750 ha or 0.83% of forested area per year. Charcoal production and cultivation have an impact on large-scale deforestation that has occurred in the area between 1991 and 1998.

Philippine Government is also in trouble as environmental sanitation is concerned. Waste materials in markets or even in public places continually piled up every other day when it is not fetched by a garbage truck. These waste materials are primarily composed of coconut shells in markets, wastepaper in schools and offices, rice hulls in agricultural remains and sawdust, a waste product produce in the lumber shops. This study was conducted to reduce the percentage breakdown of deforestation which would soon contribute to the prevalent global warming.

Since waste materials such as coconut shells, rice hulls, sawdust and wastepaper are totally organic and may seem useful at times, we came up on using it as a primary component in making Biofuel at varying formulations. This way, the researchers can help in preserving the environmental balance of the ecosystem and at the same time, to come up with a cheap, easy-drying and a highly combustible fuel for household fuel – The Biofuel Pellets.

Statement of the Problem

This study aimed to determine whether different formulations of coconut shells, rice hulls, sawdust and wastepapercan be a viable source of Biofuel in the form of Pellets.

Specific Objectives:

This study specifically aimed to answer the following inquiries: 1. To determine the heating values of each raw materials to be used in making the biofuel pellets. 2. To determine the heating values of the biofuel pellets at varying coconut shells: rice hull: sawdust: wastepaper ratios and the wood charcoal as the positive control. 3. To determine if there is a significant difference on the heating value of Formulation 1, Formulation 2, Formulation 3, Formulation 4 and the positive control. 4. To determine the relationship between the size and the heating value of varying formulations and the positive control.

5. To determine the boiling time of biofuel pellets when biofuel pellets at varying formulations and wood charcoal are used as fuels. 6. To determine if there is a significant difference on the boiling time of Formulation 1, Formulation 2, Formulation 3, Formulation 4 and the positive control. 7. To determine the relationship between the size and the boiling time of varying formulations and the positive control. 8. To determine the density of biofuel pellets at varying formulations and the wood charcoal. 9. To determine if there is a significant differenceon the density of Formulation 1, Formulation 2, Formulation 3, Formulation 4 and the positive control. 10. To determine the relationship between the size and the density of varying formulations and the positive control.

Hypothesis of the Study

This study aimed to determine whether the mixture of waste paper products and materials, and coconut shell can be a viable source of bioethanol. Specifically, this study aimed to determine if there is an existing significant difference, in terms of the percentage of bioethanol produced, between the pure waste paper mixture, pure pulverized coconut shell, and 1:1 ratio mixture of waste paper and pulverized coconut. This study hypothesized that there will be no existing significant difference, in terms of the percentage of bioethanol produced, between the pure waste paper mixture, pure pulverized coconut shell, and 1:1 ratio mixture of waste paper and pulverized coconut.

Schematic Diagram
Independent Variables Dependent Variables
Formulation 1
150g coconut shells, 150g rice hull; 150g, saw dust
, 50g paper

Formulation 2
225g coconut shells, 112.5g rice hull, 112.5g sawdust, 50g waste paper Boiling Time
(minutes)

Formulation 3
112.5g coconut shells, 225g rice hull, 112.5g saw dust, 50g waste paper

Burning Time
(minutes)

Formulation 4
112.5g coconut shells, 112.5g rice hull, 225g saw dust, 50g waste paper

Density
(g/ mL)

Positive Group:
Wood Charcoal

Figure 1.A diagram showing the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variables

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would greatly benefit the various sectors, primarily the following: Community Residences. Since it takes a lot of time to dry those wood charcoal that is traditionally used by countless homes in the community, this study could be a good source of an alternative fuel in household cooking chores. First, it is well-accessible to use anytime, with less worries of its dryness when used and lastly, it could be conveniently used in any cooking activities because of its high combustibility, since Biofuel pellets are primarily composed of combustible materials. Energy Sector.

The promising friendly fuel from biofuel production could help the energy deficit of the energy sector; thus sustaining not only the demand of the consumers but also the need of the environment to have a green and amicable energy source. Environmental Sector. This study could help reduce the amount of pollution to the environment by simply using organic waste products and converting it into an environment friendly source of fuel. Other Researchers. This study could benefit other researchers by using this study as a reference for future researches.

Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study was conducted on July 12, 2012 until August 4, 2012 at the Negros Occidental High School Physics and Chemistry Laboratory. The waste materials that were used in this study were coconut shells, rice hulls, sawdust and wastepaper. The coconut shells were obtained from different stalls at Libertad Market, rice hulls were from Agricultural waste during post-harvest, and sawdust was from lumber shops while the Wastepaper was a total combination of that in Offices and Schools. The study limited itself in the determination of the heating values and the most effective formulation of waste materials that could be a viable alternative for wood charcoals. In addition, this study did not include the cost analysis based from the probable costs that may arise during the experimentation process. However, utmost economic optimization was employed during the materials selection and Biofuel pellets production.

Definition of Terms

Boiling time. Allotted time in which phase transition of the substance turns from the liquid state to the gas state, usually occurring when a liquid is heated to its boiling point (http://chemistry.about.com). In this study, boiling point was used as one of the parameters of this study. Burning Time.the time during which the propellant charge of a fuel is fully consumed (merriam-webster.com). In this study, the burning time was used as one of the parameters during the experimentation of the study.

Coconut. A member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut (apps.kew.org). In this study, the coconut was one of the raw materials in the process of fuel pellet production. Density.The quantity of something per unit measure, especially per unit length, area, or volume or the mass per unit volume of a substance under specified conditions of pressure and temperature (thefreedictionary.com) In this study, density was used as one of the parameters during the experiment.

Fuel Pellets. A piece of fuel usually in the shape of a sphere or cylinder, used in pebble-bed reactors, inserted in graphite blocks, or used in metallic tubular fuel elements (www.thefreedictionary.com). In this study, fuel pellets was the product of the study conducted. Heating Value. Amount of heat produced from the complete combustion of a specific amount of fuel (www.businessdictionary.com). In this study, heating value was used as one of the parameters in this study. Rice hull.The dry outer covering of a rice grain; a husk (www.thefreedictionary.com).

In this study, the rice hull was pulverized and used as one of the materials in the process of fuel pellet production. Sawdust. The small particles of wood or other material that fall from an object being sawed (http://education.yahoo.com). In this study, sawdust was used as one of the raw materials for the fuel pellet production. Waste papers.Paper that is not needed and has been thrown away (Encarta Dictionaries, 2008). In this study, the waste paper was used as a raw material for fuel pellet production.


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