Characterization and Potential Utilisation of Palm Oil Fuel Ash (Pofa) From a Local Oil Mill

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Solid waste characterisation is fundamental to any proper planning of solid waste management in any area. The aim of the study is to characterize the palm oil fuel ash (POFA) resulting from fuelling a steam boiler for the operation of the mill and explore its potential utilization. Samples from a local mill were characterized using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry, X-ray Fluorescence, X-Ray Diffraction and Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Procedure (TCLP). Leaching tests were also conducted at various pHs. The results show that the main chemical composition of the palm oil fuel ash were SiO2 67.4 wt%, Al2O3 10.57 wt%, MgO 4.76 wt% and K2O 4.23 wt%. Leaching tests also revealed the POFA generated by the local oil mill leaches well in acidic media releasing various heavy metals into the aqueous media, though it is not likely to leach out high levels of toxic elements to the environment. An assessment of the usefulness of POFA revealed that mullite formation is accelerated upon the addition of POFA to lithomargic clay from the Awaso bauxite deposit with increasing temperature. POFA can also be used as the main additive in in a glaze recipe for glazing earthenware. Variation of the glaze components results in different finishes.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of MSc. degree in Environmental Resources Management,.