Document Type: Research Paper
Department of Chemical Engineering University of Lagos, Nigeria
Room 224 University of Hafr AlBatin, Saudi Arabia
Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Saskatchewan
In this study, the characterization of Thevetia Peruviana shell powder and Thevetia ash powder incinerated at various temperature (400, 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900ᵒC) is presented. The Thevetia shells were sourced, sundried for about three days and thereafter grounded into powder. The process of making the ash involve heating the powder to the desired temperature followed by conditioning it at the desired temperature for 3 hours and then cool to a room temperature in the furnace. Elemental compositions of both Thevetia shell powder (TSP) and Thevetia ash powers (TAP) were determined using SEM-EDS analysis. The crystallinity, as well as the phases present, was evaluated with the aid of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and the results revealed that TSP is completely amorphous while TAP showed some level of crystallinity depending on the ashing temperature. Through, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), functional groups peculiar to TSP and TAP were elucidated which characterize both the shell powder and the ash samples. Thermal stability of the TSP and TAP was studied using differential scanning calorimetry in the temperature range (25-350ᵒC) and the absence of volatile matters and moisture were observed in the ash samples. Scanning electron microscopy study of the samples showed that TSP image is smooth without porous structure while TSP images are fine, rough and porous, thus making the ash suitable filler materials in polymer matrix composites. Finally, Thevetia powder ashed at 600ᵒC have proven to be the best candidate filler material in the polymer matrix due to its high silica to alumina ratio as well as its characteristic morphology.