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The use of biomass for energy generation has been considered as a promising alternative to fossil fuels due to its availability and characteristic low cost. However, ash-related issues such as slagging and fouling generated during biomass combustion results in decreased combustion efficiency, power instability and even unscheduled failure. This study focused on the influence of kaolin additive on the ash yield during co-combustion of palm kernel shell (PKS) and cashew nut shell (CNS). The CNS, PKS and kaolin of different particle sizes were mixed under varying combustion temperature using D-Optimal design. The minimum ash yield of 11.50 % was obtained when CNS, PKS, kaolin, particle size and temperature were 50.00%, 40.00%, 10.00% 5.00 mm and 900oC, respectively. The ash yield was best described by the quadratic model with correlation coefficient (R2) and adjusted R2 of 0.93371 and 0.8984 respectively. According to the XRD results, the formation of potassium and aluminium tectosilicate (KAlSi2O6) in the CNS-PKS additive mixture ash prevented the release of potassium chloride which is known to increase ash deposition and slagging. The results of optimization indicate that at least 10% kaolin addition is needed to significantly reduce ash yield in the fuel mixture.
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