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ISSN:2394-3661 | Crossref DOI | SJIF: 5.138 | PIF: 3.854

International Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

(An ISO 9001:2008 Certified Online and Print Journal)

Kinetic Study of the Rate of Retting of Empty Plantain Fruit Bunch Fibers

( Volume 2 Issue 12,December 2015 ) OPEN ACCESS
Author(s):

Obijiaku J.C., Kamalu C.I.O., Osoka E.C., Onyelucheya O.E., Nwakaudu M.S., Okwara C.A.

Abstract:

Empty plantain fruit bunch fibers were extracted by means of water retting. The kinetics of the water retting process was critically studied based on the fluid-particle (shrinking-core) kinetic models. Four size categories of group of six bunch samples each were used for the experiment, and the fit of experimental data to proposed models were studied using MATLAB curve-fitting toolbox. Results for the water retting experiment showed that the retting is significantly enhanced by the addition of a load/weight on the retting bunch, while the analysis (curve-fitting of the models with experimental data) confirmed the diffusion of the retting fluid (water) through the layer of fiber bundles (ash-layer) as the controlling resistance. Statistical analysis produced similar results as those of the kinetic study, revealing an enhanced retting with longer retting period, smaller bunch sizes, together with addition of weight during retting. This is revealed by the obtained optimum (minimum) bunch diameter of 2.40cm with a bunch sample size of 4.0cm, when retted for a period of 16days by the addition of the greatest load of 5kg stone weight. The fiber extracted finds use in the manufacture of reinforced composite materials which are fast replacing the use of metallic and plastic materials, due to the quest for materials that are light and cheap, yet strong.

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