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International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research
ISSN Online 2229-5518
ISSN Print: 2229-5518 7    
Website: http://www.ijser.org
scirp IJSER >> Volume 3,Issue 7,July 2012
Optimization of Specific Mechanical Energy Consumption of a Palm Nut-Pulp Separator Using Mathematical Programming Technique
Full Text(PDF, )  PP.25-33  
Nwankwojike B. Nduka, Agunwamba C. Jonah, Ogbonnaya A. Ezenwa
Mathematical programming model, Operational parameters, Optimization, Palm nut-pulp separator, Specific mechanical energy consumption
The influences of the driving power, cake breaker speed, auger speed, and helix angle, of a palm nut-pulp separating machine on its specific mechanical energy consumption, SE was evaluated and quantified in order to determine the optimal setting of these operational parameters at which the separator will operate with minimum energy consumption as well as maximum efficiency and throughput possible. This optimization was performed using mathematical programming modeling in which the developed SE model formed the objective function minimized, subject to the constraints of it efficiency, throughput and factor levels within which the operational parameters influence the responses significantly. SE model analysis showed that the main effects of all the operational parameters provided strong primary contribution to the specific energy mechanical consumption of the separator while the quadratic effects of the auger speed, and cake breaker speed and interactions of and provided secondary effects to the response. The optimization results revealed that the palm nut-pulp separator is more efficient and energy saving when operate at an optimal driving power, cake breaker speed, auger speed and helix angle setting of 4.I03kW (5.5Hp), 2821rpm, 2116rpm, and 450 for respectively. The machine performed with an average specific mechanical energy consumption of 16.41kJ/kg, efficiency of 95% and throughput of 900kg/h at this factor setting. This indicates 38.61% reduction in specific mechanical energy consumption of the separator, and increase in its efficiency and throughput by 1.06% and 3.72% respectively when compared with that of the factor settings previously obtained from the graphical optimization of the machine. 
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