A Study of Physicochemical Characteristics of Vetiver Grass (vetiveria Zizanioides) in Bioenergy Production
Sebola, Mmabyalwa R.
Maqhiza, Charmain T.
Sempunga, Baraka C.
Makgato, Seshibe S.
Bambo, Mokae F.

How to Cite

Sebola M.R., Maqhiza C.T., Sempunga B.C., Makgato S.S., Bambo M.F., 2024, A Study of Physicochemical Characteristics of Vetiver Grass (vetiveria Zizanioides) in Bioenergy Production, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 109, 361-366.


The use of lignocellulose biomass is crucial in biofuel production, to enhance global energy security and avoid food shortages. Feedstock selection of this type of biomass depends on factors such as cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin content, sustainability, quantity, and availability. As such, a good understanding of chemical attributes is crucial for potential energy conversion. Before characterization, the grass was ground and sieved to 0.6 mm for uniformity. The Vetiver grass (VG) was then analyzed through proximate, ultimate, SEM, FTIR, and lignocellulosic characteristics analysis. The VG had 7.63 % moisture content, 4.46 % ash, 69.10 % volatile matter, and 18.81 % fixed carbon. The ultimate analysis showed that the C, H, O, N, and S content was 42.28 %, 5.54 %, 51.54 %, 0.64 %, and 0 %, respectively. Compared to Napier grass, cow dung, and sugar cane bagasse, VG had lower nitrogen and no sulfur with an empirical formula of CH1.6O0.92. The treated VG sample showed increased intensity in the FTIR peak at 1037 cm-1 and additional peaks at 2341 cm-1. Broadening of the peak at 3332 cm-1 indicated improved availability of cellulose and hemicellulose for methane production due to mechanical treatment. The SEM analysis showed the removal of the link between the hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin cross-linking structure. These results suggest that VG could be a promising bioenergy source.