Thermogravimetric Study of Maize Cob Carbonization for Bioenergy Recovery: Product Yield Estimation and Bio-Energy Potentials

Otitolaiye V. O., Ojomoh V. K., Mahmoud A. S., Bashir F. M., Audu J. O., Dodo Y. A.

Petroleum and Coal, vol.63, no.2, pp.483-492, 2021 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Name: Petroleum and Coal
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, Academic Search Premier
  • Page Numbers: pp.483-492
  • Keywords: Biomass, Carbonization, Energy recovery, Maize cobs, Thermogravimetry
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: No


© 2021. All Rights Reserved.The study investigated the bulk fuel, microstructure, morphological, mineral, and functional group characteristics of maize cobs (MC) along with carbonization through thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) for potential energy recovery. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study on the micro-scale analysis of the fuel properties and bioenergy recovery potential of MC in the scientific literature. The results showed that MC contains high carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, volatile matter and fixed carbon but low moisture, and ash contents. The functional group (FTIR) analysis revealed MC contains alcohol, ester, and carbonyl functional groups in its chemical structure, which could be attributed to the lignocellulose components of biomass. The analysis of MC microstructure and morphology showed a rough yet compact surface comprising fibres. The TGA carbonisation process revealed MC experienced significant mass loss (ML) ranging from 73–76%, whereas the residual mass or mass yield (RM or MY) was from 23.6–27.2% with increasing carbonisation temperatures from 450–650°C. Furthermore, the findings indicated that the optimal temperature for carbonization of MC is 550°C, based on the conditions examined in this study. The HHV of the solid MY ranged from 26.66 – 26.99 MJ/kg, whereas the energy yield (DE) was 95.42 – 95.63%, and energy density (DE) 3.52 – 4.04. The findings indicate that while the HHV and EY increased, the MY and EY decreased with increasing carbonisation temperatures. In general, the study demonstrated that MC is a potentially suitable raw material or biomass feedstock for the sustainable recovery of bioenergy through carbonization.