Palm Nut Dimensional Relationship Relevant to its Primary Processing
This chapter attempts to solve the problem associated with separation of cracked nut mixture to obtain high purity kernels. Palm nuts used were obtained from Ideas Oil mill, Ibesikpo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The nuts were treated as appropriate and experimental data generated. Various models based on the relationship between nut dimensions (minor diameter d1, intermediate diameter d2, major diameter d3 and shell thickness ts) were developed for the Dura and Tenera palm nut varieties. The models were aimed to tackle the following challenges: design of silo for palm kernels and nuts storage; conditioning of nuts to have optimum moisture to enhance the cracking of nuts to release whole kernels, energy and power requirements to effectively cracked nuts to have little or no objectionable damage to the kernels; the separation techniques and methods to obtain shell fragments that could be easier for separation to obtain kernels of high purity. These models developed were tested and validated. The models could be used to aid in the following: design of storage facilities for kernels and nuts respectively; application of energy that would crack nuts to yield high percentage of whole kernel; determination of optimum moisture content that would enhance cracking of nuts to release whole kernels; application of appropriate operating conditions to enhance the separation of cracked nut mixture to yield kernels of high purity through appropriate techniques/methods coupled with production of small shell fragments that are of comparable sizes with kernels.
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