Experimental Investigation of Lime Treated Palm Kernel Shell

Kernel Shell

This experimental research is focused on the effect of concrete made by incorporating lime treated Palm Kernel Shell (PKS) & Sugarcane Bagasse Ash (SCBA) as partial replacements of coarse aggregates and Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) respectively. An Kernel Shell experimental analysis for concrete grade 30 with a mix design ratio of 1:1.97:3.71 of cement:fine aggregates:coarse aggregates with a constant water to cement ratio of 0.5, was used. Physical tests such as workability on fresh concrete and water absorption on hardened concrete of each batch were carried out. Mechanical tests like compressive strength and split tensile strength were carried out on hardened concrete cubes (100 mm × 100 mm × 100 mm) and cylinders (100 mm × 200 mm) at 7 and 28 days. The experimental results obtained in this study indicate the possibility of using up 15% of lime treated PKS and 10% of SCBA for production of structural concrete.

Concrete is a manmade composite material consisting of cement, aggregates and water, which is used in civil engineering construction and is preferred all over the world. It is the second most consumed substance on earth after water [1] . According to [2] its usage is around 10 billion tons per year, which is equivalent to 1 ton per every living person and 1.7 tons per person in the United States. About 50% – 80% of its volume are aggregates that consist of natural crushed stones and sand. Due to the depletion of natural resources, worry is gaining place in the construction industry. In addition, since the bonding material in the concrete is cement, the high demand for this material has led to an increase in cost, making it the most expensive construction material. In view of the magnitude of these problems, combined with the problem of waste disposal, researchers decided to look for other ecological materials that could be used in the production of concrete.

The incorporation of agricultural waste material for concrete production can considerably reduce the cost incurred in buying coarse aggregate, which results in a potential reduction in the total cost of construction and will also reduce environment pollution [3] . Industrial actions produce significant quantities of non-biodegradables solid waste. Most of this waste consists of industrial waste (such as, sandpaper, chemical solvents, industrial by products, paints, paper products, metal and radioactive waste), municipal waste (such as plastics), and agricultural waste (natural fibers and such as palm kernel shell).

Palm kernel is the edible seed of the oil palm fruit. The fruit yields two distinct oils: palm oil derived from the outer parts of the fruit, and palm kernel oil derived from the kernel (FAO, 2002). Considerable amount of waste in form of PKS is generated during oil extraction. A PKS is an interesting alternative for combating problems of overexploitation of conventional aggregates in concrete whose global production increases regularly. The efforts of researchers are to achieve how to use that waste materials in concrete.

Ordinary Portland cement Type I (CEM I 42.5N) conforming to the requirements of [4] was used as a binding agent. According to [5] , the treatment of PKS with lime reduce the amount of it water absorption. Hence, the Palm Kernel Shell obtained from Uganda at Kalangala island was treated with lime to make the shell less permeable. The treatment was done by putting PKS in lime solution (40 g/l) for 2 hours follow by air drying to obtain saturated surface dried such that the water cement ratio was not affected. It met the requirement of [6] . The coarse and fine aggregate were locally obtained with nominal size of 20 mm for coarse aggregate and maximum size of 5 mm for fine aggregate. Both aggregates met the requirement of [6] . The Sugar Cane Bagasse Ash used was locally obtained from sugar manufacturing industry in Kakamega County (KENYA) and was prepared by sieving on 0.075 mm sieve. It met the requirement of [7] . The mix ratio of 1:1.97:3.71 for cement:fine aggregates:coarse aggregates with a constant water to cement ratio of 0.5 was used. The target grade of concrete was C30 and the specimens size used was cubes (100 mm × 100 mm × 100 mm) and cylinders (100 mm × 200 mm).