To cite this article: Shariff, A. et al. (2016). Corn cob as a potential feedstock for slow pyrolysis of biomass. J. Phys. Sci., 27(2), 123–137, http://dx.doi.org/10.21315/jps2016.27.2.9
The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristic of corn cob as a biomass feedstock for slow pyrolysis process. This was achieved by using proximate, elemental and thermogravimetric (TG) analysis as well as heating value, pH and lignocellulosic determination. Proximate analysis was performed using ASTM E1756-01, ASTM E1755-01 and ASTM E872-82. Proximate analysis showed that the corn cob feedstock contained 87.76 mf wt% of volatile matter, 1.05 mf wt% of ash content and 11.09 mf wt% of fixed carbon. The elemental analysis revealed that corn cob feedstock contain less than 1 mf wt% of nitrogen and sulfur. The percentages of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin of corn cob feedstock are 45.88%, 39.40% and 11.32% respectively. The weight loss of corn cob feedstock was prominent in the temperature range of 250°C–350°C. Two distinct peaks of derivative thermogravimetric (DTG) curve indicate the difficulty of corn cob feedstock to degrade due to its high fixed carbon content. The overall findings showed that corn cob is suitable to be used as the feedstock for slow pyrolysis because of its high volatile matter and low percentages of nitrogen and sulfur. Its high fixed carbon makes it a potential feedstock for the slow pyrolysis of biomass.