April to June 2006

MIRDC rolls out four new machines that can process coconut husk-based products

The Metals Industry Research and Development Center’s R&D Division has successfully completed four machines designed to increase production and improve the quality of coco coir products.
The “Coco Husk Micro-Decorticator” can process 3,000 husks per day. It separates coco fiber or coir from coconut husk by the crushing action of multiple blades welded on rotating drum. The blades causes the rapid separation of fiber and dust as the husks are crushed against a set of fixed counter blades arranged horizontally and parallel to the axes of decorticating blades. Fibers and dust are discharged in separate outlets.

Coconut husk micro decorticatorThe “Coco-Husk Mini-Decorticator”, which has a higher 5,000-husk daily capacity produces mixed fibers 4-6 inches long (CH-3 FIDA grade) by separating them from the peat of coconut husks through a scraping drum with multiple blades welded 94 milliliter apart.

Arranged with six sets radially and eight sets axially with five degrees helix angle, the blades drag beaten coconut husks to a series of fixed counter blades set horizontally and in parallel with the drum’s axis. This system causes rapid fiber and dust separation. The blades also propel coir fiber to a discharge outlet while forcing the dust to fall through separator or grate bars below the cylinder’s lower half. Fibers can be collected and sun dried and then baled before selling or storing.

Meanwhile, “Coco Fiber Twining Machine” is designed to make coconut fiber twines used in producing erosion control geo-textile net. The machine is basically reverse engineered but with improvement in capacity, safety, and ergonomics. It can process 20 kilos of coconut fiber twines daily, or five kilos more than its conventional counterpart.

The fourth machine called “Coco Husk Beating Machine” is made of flat iron sheet consisting of impeller welded in shafting and supported by pillow block bearings at end points. A 20 horse-power electrical motor or diesel engine drives the impeller, which rotates clockwise by means of 3-groove belted pulleys connected to the rotating shaft.

The machines are expected to help producers meet and sustain increasing domestic and export demand for twines and geo-textile nets particularly in China, where ground beautification is in full swing leading to the 2008 Olympics.

China is also losing about 2,400 sq.km. of land to desertification each year and needs the same size of geo-textiles to control the devastation That figure is estimated to reach 260,000 sq.km. soon and concentrated mostly in the northern areas especially Beijing and Harbin among others. China’s demand for mattress is 100 million annually, which translates to 37,500 tons of fiber per month or 450,000 tons of fiber per year. The Philippines’ export capacity is only 3,000 tons of fiber per month.

These machines will be deployed in areas and towns where coconut husks are abundant and traditionally produce coco fiber such as Naval, Biliran; Catarman, Northern Samar; Irosin, Sorsogon; Davao City; San Isidro, Davao Oriental; San Pablo, Laguna; Catanauan, Quezon, and; Oroquieta, Lanao del Norte.

The MIRDC is an agency of the Department of Science and Technology that provides technology assistance to private and public sectors in developing equipment and facilities for improvement of products and services.