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  • Author or Editor: Sreenivas Konduru x
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Chemical properties of unprocessed coconut husks varied significantly between 11 sources tested. The pH was significantly different between sources and ranged from 5.9 to 6.9. The electrical conductivities were significantly different between sources and ranged from 1.2 to 2.8 mS·cm–1. The levels of Na, K, P, and Cl were significantly different between sources and ranged from 23 to 88, 126 to 236, 8 to 33, and 304 to 704 ppm, respectively. The B, Cu, Fe, Ni, S, Zn, Mn, and Mo levels were all significantly different between sources and ranged from nondetectable levels to 12.7 ppm. The NH4-N, NO3-N, Ca, and Mg levels were not significantly different between sources and ranged from 0.2 to 1.8, 0.2 to 0.9, 2.9 to 7.3, and nondetectable to 4.6 ppm, respectively. Coir dust produced by screening of waste grade coir through 13-, 6-, or 3-mm screens had significantly different bulk densities, air-filled pore space, water filled pore space and water-holding capacities compared to nonscreened waste grade coir. However, total pore space and total solids were not significantly affected by screening. Screen size did not significantly affect physical properties. Compression pressures used for formation of coir dust blocks significantly affected physical properties. Additionally, coir dust age significantly affected chemical properties.

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Physical properties differed significantly among five Philippine-produced coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) coir dust sources. Bulk densities ranged from 0.04 to 0.08 g·cm–3. Air-filled pore space, water-filled pore space, and total pore space ranged from 9.5% to 12.6%, 73.0% to 80.0%, and 85.5% to 89.5% (v/v), respectively. Total solids accounted for 10.5% to 14.5% of total volume, and water-holding capacities ranged from 750% to 1100% of dry weight. Significant differences existed in particle size distribution, with the largest differences occurring for particle sizes <8.0 mm and 0.25 to 0.50 mm in diameter. Chemical properties were determined for 12 sources from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, or Indonesia. The pH and electrical conductivities ranged from 5.6 to 6.9 and 0.3 to 2.9 mS·cm–1, respectively, and were significantly different among sources. No significant differences occurred among samples with respect to Fe, Mn, Zn, B, Cu, NH4-N, and Mg concentrations. Coir dust samples contained Fe, Mn, Zn, B, and Cu at 0.01 to 0.07 mg·L–1. The levels of NH4-N and Mg were 0.1 to 0.2 and 1.0 to 7.4 mg·L–1, respectively. Significant differences occurred between sources for Ca, Na, and NO3-N, with levels (mg·L–1) ranging from 1.0 to 24.3, from 22.3 to 88.3, and from 0.4 to 7.0, respectively. The widest ranges occurred in K (19 to 948 mg·L–1) and Cl (26 to 1636 mg·L–1). Sources differed with respect to cation exchange capacities, with values ranging from 38.9 to 60.0 meq/100 g.

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Chemical properties of unprocessed coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) husks varied significantly among 11 sources tested. The pH and electrical conductivities were significantly different among husk sources and ranged from 5.9 to 6.9 and 1.2 to 2.8 mS·cm−1, respectively. The NH 4 + , NO 3 , Ca, and Mg levels did not differ significantly among husk sources and ranged from 0.2 to 1.8, 0.2 to 0.9, 2.9 to 7.3, and nondetectable to 4.6 mg·kg−1, respectively. Levels of P, B, Cu, Fe, Ni, S, Zn, Mn, and Mo were all significantly different among husk sources and ranged from nondetectable levels to 33 ppm. The levels of Na, K, and Cl were significantly different among husk sources and ranged from 23 to 88, 126 to 236, and 304 to 704 ppm, respectively. Coir dust (CD) produced by screening of waste-grade coir through 3-, 6-, or 13-mm mesh screens had significantly different fiber content, bulk densities, total solids, total pore space, air-filled pore space, water-filled pore space, and water-holding capacities as compared with nonscreened waste-grade coir. However, screen size did not significantly affect the physical properties of CD. Neither compression pressure nor moisture level during compression of CD blocks significantly affected rehydration of compressed CD or physical properties of rehydrated CD.

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