Olive pomace requirements for small combustion applications in western australia: Experimental and modelling analysis
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This study investigates the feasibility of olive pomace as an energy source through combustion in a biomass burner. Samples of pomace have been dried under controlled conditions utilising a moisture analyser. A modified Midilli model was developed and found to be the best at predicting the experimental data (±10% error). The model suggests that the total drying time required to dry a projected amount of olive pomace in the future is realistic. Simultaneous thermogravimetric (TG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis have been also carried out on the dried olive pomace. The pomace devolatilisation and the evolved gases during the decomposition process have been also analysed by a coupled infrared gas analyser (IR) up to temperature of 1000°C. Additionally, suitable burners were found to meet the requirements of the grove to produce heat and/or electricity for domestic consumption utilising olive pomace and prunings. The payback period for the considered system, assuming all the pomace and prunings from the harvest is utilised, is under 5 years. This assessment is heavily dependent on labour costs associated with pruning and pomace drying. In the future, an extensive inclusion of all relevant cost incurred should be considered for a more in depth analysis.