Determination of Minimum Suction Level for Collecting Oil Palm Loose Fruits
Publication Date : 19/06/2019
Loose fruits (LF) can be found at almost every stage of oil palm fresh fruit bunch (FFB) collection whether in the field or at the mill. LF contain the optimum amount of oil, which is why they need to be collected to ensure maximum Oil Extraction Rate (OER) at the mill. Various methods of LF collection were introduced for the oil palm industry, mostly comprising a simple mechanical type or the suction type. Based on systems developed in the past, the suction type was found to be more practical for collecting scattered LF around the palm base. This study seek to determine some suction parameters such as airflow and air velocity, relationships between engine and fan speeds with various fruit capacities. Results of the study showed that the minimum air velocity that is required to lift up a single LF is approximately 22.4 m/s or an airflow of 0.21 m3/s. Results also indicated that the effective airflow to collect oil palm LF is between 0.28 m3/s to 0.33 m3/s (air velocity of 30 m/s to 35 m/s). It was found that engine speed will not be affected by the number of LF in the barrel; except the speed of fan, which was affected especially at lower speed. Higher air velocity was produced at the end of the suction nozzle at 80% fruits capacity in the barrel as compared to the empty barrel. The findings are expected to help in designing an effective suction machine for collecting oil palm LF.
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