Characterization of Banana Peels Wastes as Potential Slow Pyrolysis Feedstock
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Uganda is the world’s second largest producer and consumer of banana after India. This has resulted into vast quantities of banana wastes, including the leaves, pseudostem, stalks, rejected and rotten fruits and the fruit peels. This study focuses on the characterization of banana peels to yield banana peels vinegar (BPV), tar and biochar as value added products that can be useful to farmers. Dried banana peels were characterized via proximate, ultimate, lignocellulosic, thermogravimetric (TG), and calorific value analyses. The obtained results showed that the volatile matter and fixed carbon contents were 88.02% and 2.70% while carbon, nitrogen and sulphur were 35.65%, 1.94% and 20.75 ppm respectively. The hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin contents were 41.38%, 9.90% and 8.90% while the higher and lower heating values were 16.15 MJ/kg and 14.80 MJ/kg. The maximum devolatilization rate in the banana peel biomass occurred in the temperatures range of 450–550oC which was taken as the slow pyrolysis regime temperature. The high levels of fixed carbon, volatile matter and ash contents were strong indicators that banana wastes are adequate feedstock for pyrolysis work to yield bio-infrastructure products. Similarly, the lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose fractions had significant correlation between the biomass heating values and the eventual chemical compounds present BPV and biochar. The characterization properties of the banana peels are akin to the leaves and pseudostem and thus are suitable for pyrolysis process.