Investigation of the effect of bagasse from sugarcane varieties on power production
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Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is a perennial grass grown for production of sugar and bioenergy worldwide. The world produces about 1.9 billion Mt of sugarcane. It is milled to extract juice for sugar processing and the byproducts which include bagasse are used for other purposes such as electricity generation in thermal power plants. The characteristics of bagasse fuel used at Kakira Sugar Limited thermal plant have not been studied and documented. The objectives of this study were therefore to characterize the bagasse from the different sugarcane varieties grown at Kakira Sugar Limited and to determine ignition characteristics of the bagasse for combustion. Bagasse from Six sugarcane varieties, Co 945, Co 449, Co 421, R83- 2089, CB 38-22 and FR 93- 761 were collected from Kakira sugarcane plantations. They were milled to fine bagasse powder using a laboratory crusher. Proximate, chemical composition and thermogravimetric analyses were done. Calorific value was studied using a bomb calorimeter. Chemical composition analysis was used to determine the Lignin, Hemi-cellulose and Cellulose composition in the bagasse. Proximate, chemical composition and thermogravimetric analyses results showed that bagasse from Co 449 is most suitable for cogeneration because of its highest value of hemi-cellulose content by percentage (30.21±1.17%) compared to other varieties. It also ignites at relatively lower temperatures (230˚C) compared to bagasse from other varieties. Co 449 burns upto a Tmax of 620˚C, a value higher than the rest. It has relatively lower moisture content (2.52±0.45 d.b%) and relatively high lignin content (11.76±0.00%) producing the highest gross heating value of 19,606.67KJ/kg and relatively low ash content (1.42±0.10%).