MSA  Vol.9 No.10 , September 2018
Insight on the Ultrastructure, Physicochemical, Thermal Characteristics and Applications of Palm Kernel Shells
Abstract: The ultrastructure and physicochemical and thermal properties of Palm Kernel Shells (PKS) in comparison with Coconut Kernel Shells (CKS) were investigated herein. Powder samples were prepared and characterized using Surface Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Chemical and elemental constituents, as well as thermal performance were assessed by Van Soest Method, TEM/EDXA and SEM/EDS techniques. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) were also performed for thermal characterization. SEM/EDS and TEM/EDXA revealed that most of the PKS and CKS materials are composed of particles with irregular morphology; these are mainly amorphous phases of carbon/oxygen with small amounts of K, Ca and Mg. The DSC data permitted to derive the materials’ thermal transition phases and the relevant characteristic temperatures and physical properties. Thermal Transition phases of PKS observed herein are consistent with the chemical composition obtained and are similar to those of CKS. Nonetheless, TGA/DTG showed that the combustion characteristics of PKS are higher than those of CKS. Taken together, our results reveal that PKS have nanopores and can be efficiently used for 3D printing and membrane filtration applications. Moreover, the chemical constituents found in PKS samples are in agreement with those reported in the literature for material structural applications and thus, present potential use of PKS in these applications.
Cite this paper: Ntenga, R. , Mfoumou, E. , Béakou, A. , Tango, M. , Kamga, J. and Ahmed, A. (2018) Insight on the Ultrastructure, Physicochemical, Thermal Characteristics and Applications of Palm Kernel Shells. Materials Sciences and Applications, 9, 790-811. doi: 10.4236/msa.2018.910057.

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