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Journal of Minerals & Materials Characterization & Engineering, Vol. 9, No.1, pp.67-77, 2010
jmmce.org Printed in the USA. All rights reserved
Potential Utilization of Solid Waste (Bagasse Ash)
V. S. Aigbodion*, S. B. Hassan, T. Ause and G.B. Nyior
Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering,
Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Utilization of industrial and agricultural waste products in the industry has been the focus of
research for economical, environmental, and technical reasons. Sugar-cane bagasse is a fibrous
waste-product of the sugar refining industry, along with ethanol vapor. This waste-product is
already causing serious environmental pollution which calls for urgent ways of handling the
waste. In this paper, Bagasse ash has been chemically and physically characterized, in order to
evaluate the possibility of their use in the industry. X-ray diffractometry determination of
composition and presence of crystalline material, scanning electron microscopy/EDAX
examination of morphology of particles, as well as physical properties and refractoriness of
bagasse ash has been studied.
Key Words: Density; microstructure; particle size ; re fractoriness
Researches all over the world today are focusing on ways of utilizing either industrial or
agricultural wastes as a source of raw materials for the industry. These wastes utilization would
not only be economical, but may also result to foreign exchange earning and environmental
pollution control [1-3].
Bagasse is the matted cellulose fiber residue from sugar cane that has been processed in a Sugar
mill. Previously, bagasse was burnt as a means of solid waste disposal. However, as the cost of
fuel oil, natural gas, and electricity has increased, bagasse has come to be regarded as a fuel
rather than refuse in the sugar mills [4, 5].
68 V. S. Aigbodion, S. B. Hassan, T. Ause and G.B. Nyior Vol.9, No.1
Ganesan et al  stated that 1 ton of sugarcane generates 280 kg of bagasse, and that based on
economics as well as environmental related issues, enormous efforts have been directed
worldwide towards bagasse management issues i.e. of utilization, storage and disposal.
Different avenues of bagasse utilization are more or less known but none of them have
so far proved to be economically viable or commercially feasible [5, 7]. Hence the objective of
this present work is to characterize the bagasse in order to explore it use in the
metallurgical and materials industry.
2. MATERIALS AND METHOD
The bagasse used in this work was obtained from Zongo area of Zaria in Kaduna State of
Nigeria. Other materials used are: Arabic gum and cotton wool. The photograph of the bagasse is
shown in plate 1.
Plate 1: Photograph of the Bagasse
Equipment used in this research are: Meter balance, Crucible, tong, Thermometer, Drying oven,
Density bottles, Hydraulic press, Mixer, Hood type furnace, Steel mould and set of sieve,
scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffractometry (XRD) machine.
2.3.1 Bagasse carbonization
The bagasse was packed in the graphite crucible air tight, and place inside electric control
furnace and burnt at a temperature of 1200oC for 5hours to obtain a black color ash (see plate 2)
which is the bagasse ash which was used in this research .
Vol.9, No.1 Potential Utilization of Solid Waste (Bagasse Ash) 69
Plate 2: Photograph of the Bagasse after carbonization
2.3.2 Particles size analysis
The particle size distributions of the Bagasse ash were determined using the (AFS)
specifications. 100g each of the dried ash was taken and introduced unto a set of sieves arranged
in descending order of fineness and shaken for 15 minutes which is the recommended shaking
time to achieve complete classification. The weight retained on each sieve was taken and
expressed as percentages of the total sample weight. From the weight retained, the grain
fineness number (AFS) was computed .
2.3.3 Chemical analysis and microstructure of the Bagasse ash
The X-ray diffraction patterns of the ash sample derived from the bagasse was determine by X-
ray diffraction analysis which was carried out with a Siemens D-500 diffractometer using Co-
Kc radiation (Kc
1.79026 A). The microscopic study of the ash were determined by JEOL
JSM840A scanning electron microscope (SEM) complemented by EDAX .
2.3.4 Production of the test sample
The ash was mixed thoroughly with Arabic gum and water to enhance plasticity. The mixed
blend was each packed into a mould box and pressed using hydraulic jack. A pressure of about
9kg/cm2 was applied to enhance excellent mouldability, homogeneity and surface smoothness of
the samples .
The moulded samples were dried in an open air for 24 hrs at 110°C to expel any moisture and to
avoid crack during firing. The dried bricks were then fired in an automatic digital electric furnace
(Hood-type furnace) at a preset heating rate of 7°C/min at different temperatures shown below;
70 V. S. Aigbodion, S. B. Hassan, T. Ause and G.B. Nyior Vol.9, No.1
200oC for 6hours, 650oC for 4hours, 950oC for 3hours, 1100oC for 8hours and 1400oC for
8hours. After firing, the samples were allowed to cool in the furnace at a cooling rate of 1°C/min
[4, 5]. The sample was then removed from the furnace for physical test (see Plate 3)
Plate 3: Photograph of the moulded Bagasse ash after firing
2.3.5 Firing shrinkage
The green weight of the sample was taken after moulding; and weight after firing was taken. The
diagonal line across the sample in the green state and fired state were measured using the vernier
caliper. The firing shrinkage was then calculated as a percentage of the original wet length as
shown below [5, 7];
Where, LB = Dimension of green sample, LD = Dimension of fired sample.
The density of the respective samples was determined basically by measuring the mass and the
volume by using the beam balance and the measuring cylinder respectively. It is then estimated
from the formula given below [5-8].
Density (g/cm3) = )(
gMass ----------------------------------------- (2)
Vol.9, No.1 Potential Utilization of Solid Waste (Bagasse Ash) 71
The Pyrometric Cone Equivalent (PCE) as recommended by ASTM Test C-24 was used in the
determination of the refractoriness of the sample [5-7].
3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
3.1 Particle Size
Figure 1 shows the particle size distribution of the sample. The sample has a Grain Fineness
Number (GFN) of 85.07, and based on this value, the sample can be considered to be fine as
GFN value of 100 is ranked the finest.
14001000710 500 355 350 180 1259063-63
Size Aperture (micron meter)
We ig h t R e ta in e d (g r ams)
Figure 1: Particle size analysis of the Bagasse ash
Also, the sample can be considered to have met the AFS specification since four sieve-size, has
the bulk of the retained sample on four consecutive sieves corresponding to 250μm, 180μm,
125μm, and 90μm size fractions (see Figure 1) respectively .
The results of the
technique is presented in
72 V. S. Aigbodion, S. B. Hassan, T. Ause and G.B. Nyior Vol.9, No.1
Position [°2T h eta]
20 3040 5060
Co unt s
C; Si O2
Si O2; Ti6 O
C; Si C; Ti6 O
C; Si O2; Si C
Sam ple 0.CAF
Figure 2: XRD pattern of the Bagasse ash
Posi ti on [° 2T h eta]
1020 3040 50 60 7080 90
P eak List
Figure 3: Plot of Identified Phases of the XRD
Vol.9, No.1 Potential Utilization of Solid Waste (Bagasse Ash) 73
From the result obtained it was observed that, the
35.41o and 40.00o and their inter-planar distance, 4.29Å, 3.36 Å, 2.54 Å and 2.26 Å, and
are 19.17, 100.00, 3.59, and 3.26 and
these peaks as Quartz (SiO2), Cliftonite:(C), Moissanite:(SiC) and Titanium
Oxide:(Ti6O), while each of these phases have a score of 30, 31, 19 and 18
respectively (see Tables 2-3). The result shows that carbon has the highest percentage of all the
compound and element present as revealed by the XRD analysis .
Table 1. Identified Patterns List of the XRD.
Visible Ref. Code Score Compound
31 Cliftonite 0.0000.657 C
30 Quartz 0.0000.084 SiO2
19 Moissanite 0.0000.044 SiC
Complete mineralogical analysis of bagasse ash carried out by X-Ray also revealed that the ash
contains each of these elements C, O, Si, Ca, Ti, Al, Fe and Zr and none of these other elements
H, Zn, Ga, Ge, As, Se, Br, Kr, Rb, Sr, Y, Nb, Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, Pd, Ag, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Te, I, Xe,
Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, Hf, Ta are presented.
the bagasse ash by
with EDAX are show in Micrograph 1. The
structure reveals that the size and
the particles vary;
they can be
sorted into three main groups – prismatic
and O as well as
Ca, Al, Ti and Zr with small
Fe. The fibrous ones
of only C and SiC as a result of the EDAX scan in rectangle label A (see
Micrograph 1). The
results are consistent with
XRD analysis of bagasse
in prismatic particles or retained features
observed in other
74 V. S. Aigbodion, S. B. Hassan, T. Ause and G.B. Nyior Vol.9, No.1
Table 2. Peak List of the XRD
20.6783 170.60 0.2362 4.2955219.17 0.240001-085-
26.5272 890.09 0.1378 3.36021 100.00 0.140000-041-
35.4083 32.00 0.4723 2.535123.590.480001-075-
36.8181 53.84 0.1181 2.441226.050.1200
39.9694 29.00 0.6298 2.255733.260.640001-072-
45.5970 161.25 0.1181 1.9895618.12 0.120001-085-
50.0251 182.40 0.0960 1.8218320.49 0.080001-085-
54.4399 31.76 0.2362 1.685453.570.240000-041-
59.8377 105.46 0.1200 1.5443911.85 0.100000-041-
Vol.9, No.1 Potential Utilization of Solid Waste (Bagasse Ash) 75
Micrograph 1: The structure of the bagasse ash as revealed by SEM/EDAX
result shows that both SiO
finer one. This could be
ated with pore
Å (see Table 2)
carbon which has
significant surface area
in the range
square meters per gram and microspores with pore
This is similar
obtained in other studies
3.3 Firing Shrinkage
The firing shrinkage value of the bagasse ash is very low with a value is 0.85%. This result
confirm with the structure observed in the microstructure which is mainly carbon, silica and
silicon carbide, since silica and graphite (C) expand during firing .
Density of the sample is 1.95g/cm3 which means that bagasse ash is very light material. The
value obtained fall within the range of density of carbon and silica which is 1.8 and 2.2 g/cm3
respectively [7, 9, 10].
The sample was observed to have Seger Cone No. 23, with equivalent temperature of 1600oC.
This means bagasse ash can withstand operating temperature of 1600oC without load [5, 9, and
76 V. S. Aigbodion, S. B. Hassan, T. Ause and G.B. Nyior Vol.9, No.1
From the analysis of the results given above, the followings conclusions can be made:
1) XRD analysis of the ash reveals Quartz:(SiO2), Cliftonite:(C), Moissanite:(SiC) and
Titanium Oxide:(Ti6O) as the primary compounds
2) SEM/EDAX analysis reveals the presence of
structure, which also have similar compound with the XRD analysis.
3) The ash can withstand a temperature of up to 1600oC with a density of 1.95g/cm3
4) Based on the above properties, it is clear that presence of oxides and carbon in the ash
will make it suitable for refectory and ceramic products such as insulation, membrane
filters and structural ceramics. Also with fine particle size characteristics, implies that this
bagasse ash can be used as facing sand moulding during casting operations.
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