Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 16

Dry Matter, Moisture, Ash and Crude Fibre Content in Distinct Segments of ‘Durian Kampung’ Husk

An environmental friendly approach for disposal of voluminous durian husk waste could be implemented by substituting them into various valuable commodities, such as healthcare and biofuel products. Thus, the study of composition value in each segment of durian husk was very crucial to determine the suitable proportions of nutrients that need to be added and mixed in the product. A total of 12 ‘Durian Kampung’ fruits from Sg Ruan, Pahang were selected and each fruit husk was divided into four segments and labelled as P-L (thin neck area of white inner husk), P-B (thick bottom area of white inner husk), H (green and thorny outer husk) and W (whole combination of P-B and H). Four experiments have been carried out to determine the dry matter, moisture, ash and crude fibre content. The results show that the H segment has the highest dry matter content (30.47%), while the P-B segment has the highest percentage in moisture (81.83%) and ash (6.95%) content. It was calculated that the ash content of the P-B segment has a higher rate of moisture level which causes the ash content to increase about 2.89% from the P-L segment. These data have proven that each segment of durian husk has a significant difference in terms of composition value, which might be useful information to fully utilize every part of the durian husk in the future.

Influence of the Moisture Content on the Flowability of Fine-Grained Iron Ore Concentrate

The iron content of the ore used is crucial for the productivity and coke consumption rate in blast furnace pig iron production. Therefore, most iron ore deposits are processed in beneficiation plants to increase the iron content and remove impurities. In several comminution stages, the particle size of the ore is reduced to ensure that the iron oxides are physically liberated from the gangue. Subsequently, physical separation processes are applied to concentrate the iron ore. The fine-grained ore concentrates produced need to be transported, stored, and processed. For smooth operation of these processes, the flow properties of the material are crucial. The flowability of powders depends on several properties of the material: grain size, grain size distribution, grain shape, and moisture content of the material. The flowability of powders can be measured using ring shear testers. In this study, the influence of the moisture content on the flowability for the Krivoy Rog magnetite iron ore concentrate was investigated. Dry iron ore concentrate was mixed with varying amounts of water to produce samples with a moisture content in the range of 0.2 to 12.2%. The flowability of the samples was investigated using a Schulze ring shear tester. At all measured values of the normal stress (1.0 kPa – 20 kPa), the flowability decreased significantly from dry ore to a moisture content of approximately 3-5%. At higher moisture contents, the flowability was nearly constant, while at the maximum moisture content the flowability improved for high values of the normal stress only. The results also showed an improving flowability with increasing consolidation stress for all moisture content levels investigated. The wall friction angle of the dust with carbon steel (S235JR), and an ultra-high molecule low-pressure polyethylene (Robalon) was also investigated. The wall friction angle increased significantly from dry ore to a moisture content of approximately 3%. For higher moisture content levels, the wall friction angles were nearly constant. Generally, the wall friction angle was approximately 4° lower at the higher wall normal stress.

Estimation of Relative Subsidence of Collapsible Soils Using Electromagnetic Measurements

Collapsible soils are weak soils that appear to be stable in their natural state, normally dry condition, but rapidly deform under saturation (wetting), thus generating large and unexpected settlements which often yield disastrous consequences for structures unwittingly built on such deposits. In this study, a prediction model for the relative subsidence of stressed collapsible soils based on dielectric permittivity measurement is presented. Unlike most existing methods for soil subsidence prediction, this model does not require moisture content as an input parameter, thus providing the opportunity to obtain accurate estimation of the relative subsidence of collapsible soils using dielectric measurement only. The prediction model is developed based on an existing relative subsidence prediction model (which is dependent on soil moisture condition) and an advanced theoretical frequency and temperature-dependent electromagnetic mixing equation (which effectively removes the moisture content dependence of the original relative subsidence prediction model). For large scale sub-surface soil exploration purposes, the spatial sub-surface soil dielectric data over wide areas and high depths of weak (collapsible) soil deposits can be obtained using non-destructive high frequency electromagnetic (HF-EM) measurement techniques such as ground penetrating radar (GPR). For laboratory or small scale in-situ measurements, techniques such as an open-ended coaxial line with widely applicable time domain reflectometry (TDR) or vector network analysers (VNAs) are usually employed to obtain the soil dielectric data. By using soil dielectric data obtained from small or large scale non-destructive HF-EM investigations, the new model can effectively predict the relative subsidence of weak soils without the need to extract samples for moisture content measurement. Some of the resulting benefits are the preservation of the undisturbed nature of the soil as well as a reduction in the investigation costs and analysis time in the identification of weak (problematic) soils. The accuracy of prediction of the presented model is assessed by conducting relative subsidence tests on a collapsible soil at various initial soil conditions and a good match between the model prediction and experimental results is obtained.

Investigation of Steady State Infiltration Rate for Different Head Condition

This paper aims at determining the soil characteristics that influence the irrigation process of green landscapes and deciding on the optimum amount of water needed for irrigation. The laboratory experiments were conducted using the constant head methodology to determine the soil infiltration rates. The steady state infiltration rate was reached after 10 minutes of infiltration at a rate of 200 mm/hr. The effects of different water heads on infiltration rates were also investigated, and the head of 11 cm was found to be the optimum head for the test. The experimental results showed consistent infiltration results for the range between 11 cm and 15 cm. The study also involved finding the initial moisture content, which ranged between 5% and 25%, and finding the organic content, which occupied 1% to 2% of the soil. These results will be later utilized, using the water balance approach, to estimate the optimum amount of water needed for irrigation for changing weather conditions.

Evaluation of Soil Stiffness and Strength for Quality Control of Compacted Earthwork
Microstructure and fabric of soils play an important role on structural properties e.g. stiffness and strength of compacted earthwork. Traditional quality control monitoring based on moisturedensity tests neither reflects the variability of soil microstructure nor provides a direct assessment of structural property, which is the ultimate objective of the earthwork quality control. Since stiffness and strength are sensitive to soil microstructure and fabric, any independent test methods that provide simple, rapid, and direct measurement of stiffness and strength are anticipated to provide an effective assessment of compacted earthen materials’ uniformity. In this study, the soil stiffness gauge (SSG) and the dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) were respectively utilized to measure and monitor the stiffness and strength in companion with traditional moisture-density measurements of various earthen materials used in Thailand road construction projects. The practical earthwork quality control criteria are presented herein in order to assure proper earthwork quality control and uniform structural property of compacted earthworks.
Effects of Initial Moisture Content on the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Norway Spruce Briquettes
The moisture content of densified biomass is a limiting parameter influencing the quality of this solid biofuel. It influences its calorific value, density, mechanical strength and dimensional stability as well as affecting its production process. This paper deals with experimental research into the effect of moisture content of the densified material on the final quality of biofuel in the form of logs (briquettes or pellets). Experiments based on the singleaxis densification of the spruce sawdust were carried out with a hydraulic piston press (piston and die), where the densified logs were produced at room temperature. The effect of moisture content on the qualitative properties of the logs, including density, change of moisture, expansion and physical changes, and compressive and impact resistance were studied. The results show the moisture ranges required for producing good-quality logs. The experiments were evaluated and the moisture content of the tested material was optimized to achieve the optimum value for the best quality of the solid biofuel. The dense logs also have high-energy content per unit volume. The research results could be used to develop and optimize industrial technologies and machinery for biomass densification to achieve high quality solid biofuel.
Modeling of Compaction Curves for Corn Cob Ash-Cement Stabilized Lateritic Soils
The need to save time and cost of soil testing at the planning stage of road work has necessitated developing predictive models. This study proposes a model for predicting the dry density of lateritic soils stabilized with corn cob ash (CCA) and blended cement - CCA. Lateritic soil was first stabilized with CCA at 1.5, 3.0, 4.5 and 6% of the weight of soil and then stabilized with the same proportions as replacement for cement. Dry density, specific gravity, maximum degree of saturation and moisture content were determined for each stabilized soil specimen, following standard procedure. Polynomial equations containing alpha and beta parameters for CCA and blended CCA-cement were developed. Experimental values were correlated with the values predicted from the Matlab curve fitting tool, and the Solver function of Microsoft Excel 2010. The correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.86 was obtained indicating that the model could be accepted in predicting the maximum dry density of CCA stabilized soils to facilitate quick decision making in roadworks.
Energy Requirement for Cutting Corn Stalks (Single Cross 704 Var.)

Corn is cultivated in most countries because of high consumption, quality, and food value. This study evaluated needed energy for cutting corn stems in different levels of cutting height and moisture content. For this reason, test device was fabricated and then calibrated. The device works on the principle of conservation of energy. The results were analyzed using split plot design and SAS software. The results showed that effect of height and moisture content and their interaction effect on cutting energy are significant (P<1%). The maximum cutting energy was 3.22 kJ in 63 (w.b.%) moisture content and the minimum cutting energy was 1.63 kJ in 83.25 (w.b.%) moisture content.

Mechanical Properties of Pea Pods (Pisium sativum Var. Shamshiri)

Knowing pea pods mechanical resistance against dynamic forces are important for design of combine harvester. In pea combine harvesters, threshing is accomplished by two mechanical actions of impact and friction forces. In this research, the effects of initial moisture content and needed impact and friction energy on threshing of pea pods were studied. An impact device was built based on pendulum mechanism. The experiments were done at three initial moisture content levels of 12.1, 23.5 and 39.5 (%w.b.) for both impact and friction methods. Three energy levels of 0.088, 0.126 and 0.202 J were used for impact method and for friction method three energy levels of 0.784, 0.930 and 1.351 J. The threshing percentage was measured in each method. By using a frictional device, kinetic friction coefficients at above moisture contents were measured 0.257, 0.303 and 0.336, respectively. The results of variance analysis of the two methods showed that moisture content and energy have significant effects on the threshing percentage.

Performance of Ripped and Unripped Plantain-Wheat Flour Blend in Biscuit production

Unripe and ripe plantain were dried and milled into flour and used with wheat flour in biscuit production to determine the best plantain-wheat composite flour for biscuit production. The blends as follows: 100% wheat flour, 100% ripe plantain flour, 100% unripe plantain flour, 50% wheat flour and 50% ripe plantain flour and 50% wheat flour and 50% unripe plantain flour. The Biscuit samples were stored at ambient temperature for 8 weeks after which the equilibrium moisture content and water activity were determined. The sensory evaluation of the biscuit samples was also determined. The results of these analyses showed 100% unripe plantain flour as the most stable of the BISCUIT samples judging from its equilibrium moisture content level of 0.32% and water activity of 0.62. The sensory evaluation results showed Biscuit made from 150:50 ripe plantain and wheat flour as most generally accepted at 5% level of significance.

CAD Model of Cole Cole Representation for Analyzing Performance of Microstrip Moisture Sensing Applications

In the past decade, the development of microstrip sensor application has evolved tremendously. Although cut and trial method was adopted to develop microstrip sensing applications in the past, Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) is a more effective as it ensures less time is consumed and cost saving is achieved in developing microstrip sensing applications. Therefore microstrip sensing applications has gained popularity as an effective tool adopted in continuous sensing of moisture content particularly in products that is administered mainly by liquid content. In this research, the Cole-Cole representation of reactive relaxation is applied to assess the performance of the microstrip sensor devices. The microstrip sensor application is an effective tool suitable for sensing the moisture content of dielectric material. Analogous to dielectric relaxation consideration of Cole-Cole diagrams as applied to dielectric materials, a “reactive relaxation concept” concept is introduced to represent the frequency-dependent and moisture content characteristics of microstrip sensor devices.

Influence of Reaction Temperature and Water Content on Wheat Straw Pyrolysis
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of reaction temperature and wheat straw moisture content on the pyrolysis product yields, in the temperature range of 475-575 °C. Samples of straw with moisture contents from 1.5 wt % to 15.0 wt % were fed to a bench scale Pyrolysis Centrifuge Reactor (PCR). The experimental results show that the changes in straw moisture content have no significant effect on the distribution of pyrolysis product yields. The maximum bio-oil yields approximately 60 (wt %, on dry ash free feedstock basis) was observed around 525 °C - 550 °C for all straw moisture levels. The water content in the wet straw bio-oil was the highest. The heating value of bio-oil and solid char were measured and the percentages of its energy distribution were calculated. The energy distributions of bio-oil, char and gas were 56- 69 % 24-33 %, and 2-19 %, respectively.
Waste Oils pre-Esterification for Biodiesel Synthesis: Effect of Feed Moisture Contents
A process flowsheet was developed in ChemCad 6.4 to study the effect of feed moisture contents on the pre-esterification of waste oils. Waste oils were modelled as a mixture of triolein (90%), oleic acid (5%) and water (5%). The process mainly consisted of feed drying, pre-esterification reaction and methanol recovery. The results showed that the process energy requirements would be minimized when higher degrees of feed drying and higher preesterification reaction temperatures are used.
Effect of Moisture Content and Loading Rate on Mechanical Strength of Brown Rice Varieties
The effect of moisture content and loading rate on mechanical strength of 12 brown rice grain varieties was determined. The results showed that the rupture force of brown rice grain decreased by increasing the moisture content and loading rate. The highest rupture force values was obtained at the moisture content of 8% (w.b.) and loading rate of 10 mm/min; while the lowest rupture force corresponded to the moisture content of 14% (w.b.) and loading rate of 15 mm/min. The 12 varieties were divided into three groups, namely local short grain varieties, local long grain varieties and improved long grain varieties. It was observed that the rupture strength of the three groups were statistically different from each other (P
Effect of Rollers Differential Speed and Paddy Moisture Content on Performance of Rubber Roll Husker
A study was carried out at the Rice Research Institute of Iran (RRII) to investigate the effect of rollers differential peripheral speed of commercial rubber roll husker and paddy moisture content on the husking index and percentage of broken rice. The experiment was conducted at six levels of rollers differential speed (1.5, 2.2, 2.9, 3.6, 4.3 and 5 m/s) and three levels of paddy moisture content (8-9, 10-11 and 12-13% w.b.). Two common paddy varieties namely, Binam and Khazer, were selected for this study. Results revealed that the effect of rollers differential speed and moisture content significantly (P<0.01) affected percentage of broken brown rice and paddy husking index. Average broken kernel percentage increased from 13 to 14.61% while husking index decreased from 71.64 to 61.81%, as paddy moisture content increased from 8-9 to 12-13%. It was observed that amount of broken rice decreased from 18.83 to 9.97%, when rollers differential speed varied from 1.5 to 5 m/s, while the husking index initially increased and then started to decrease. The mean value of husking index for Khazar variety (64.71%) was significantly lower than that for Binam variety (69.2%). It was concluded that rollers differential speed of 2.9 m/s and moisture content of 8-9% was the most appropriate combination for paddy husking of Binam and Khazar varieties in rubber roll husker.
An Experimental Study on Autoignition of Wood
Experiments were conducted to characterize fire properties of wood exposed to the certain external heat flux and under variety of wood moisture content. Six kinds of Indonesian wood: keruing, sono, cemara, kamper, pinus, and mahoni were exposed to radiant heat from a conical heater, result in appearance of a stable flame on the wood surface caused by spontaneous ignition. A thermocouple K-type was used to measure the wood surface temperature. Temperature histories were recorded throughout each experiment at 1 s intervals using a TC-08. Data of first ignition time and temperature, end ignition time and temperature, and charring rate have been successfully collected. It was found that the ignition temperature and charring rate depend on moisture content of wood.
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