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ABSTRACT
IAR groundnut sheller was developed in 1985 and the design was based on the properties of the then groundnut variety known as Ex-Dakar. New varieties were later developed whose acceptability in practice override, this called for its modification and determination of the characteristics of new varieties.The machine size was modified resulting in the modification of all its components for pulse shelling. The machine consists of the hopper, shelling cylinder, removable concave, blower, chaffs outlet, grains delivery chute, clearance adjuster and frame. The machineperformance was comparatively evaluated using groundnut and cowpea as test crops. A combination of four cylinder speed levels; 2.59, 2.79, 2.98 and 3.18 m/s (130, 140, 150 and 160 rpm), three feed rates (8, 10, and 12 kg/min) and three concave clearances (19, 21 and 23 mm) were used for the performance evaluation of themodified shelling machine using groundnut while a combination of three speed levels; 2.39, 2.59, and 2.79 m/s (120, 130 and 140 rpm) and three feed rates (12, 15 and 18 kg/min) were used for cowpea crop. The results were analyzed statistically in a completely randomized block design. Least Significant Difference (LSD) method was employed to assess the effect of parameter levels while a t-test was used to assess the differences in the machines performance. The basic geometric, complex geometric, and some mechanical properties of four selected varieties each of groundnut and cowpea were determined. The optimum performance of the developed machine using groundnut was found at a speed of 3.18 m/s (160 rpm) with a feed rate of 8 kg/min and 21 mm concave clearance. These resulted in shelling efficiency, cleaning efficiency, scatter loss, damaged grains and output capacity of 94.90%, 97.22 %, 6.29 %, 14.00 % and 254.99 kg/h respectively. When evaluated with a cowpea, the optimum performance was found at a speed of 2.79 m/s (140 rpm) with a feed rate of 12 kg/min and 10 mm concave to cylinder
clearance. These resulted in shelling efficiency, cleaning efficiency, scatter loss, damaged grains and output capacity of 93.24 %, 98.31 %, 0.625 %, 0.00 % and 546.18 kg/h respectively. The levels of the independent variables were found to have highly significant differences with most of the performance indices for groundnut shelling but otherwise for cowpea. Generally, the output capacity of the modified machine was superior over that of the existing machine while its performance on cowpea was superior over that of the groundnut.

 

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CHAPTER ONE
1.0       INTRODUCTION
1.1       General Backgrounds
Pulses are annual leguminous crops yielding grains or seeds used for food, feed and sowing purposes. Pulses are crops yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and colour within a pod. In addition to their values as food and feed stuffs, pulses are also important in cropping systems for their ability to produce nitrogen and thus increase the fertility of the soil (FAO, 2011). Included in the pulses are groundnut and cowpea.Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) also known as peanut,is a member of the family papilionaceae, the largest and most important of the three divisions of leguminasae (Alonge and Adegbulugbe, 2005).The groundnut seed composed of approximately equal weight of fatty and none fatty oil; the relative amount of each depends upon its variety and maturity (Young, and Ahmed,
1982). It is one of the world‟s most popular crops cultivated throughout the tropical and sub-tropical areas where annual precipitation is between 1000 – 1200mm for optimum growth of the crop.Groundnut is the 13th most important food crop of the world (John, 2010). It is the world‟s 4th most important source of edible oil and 3rdmost important source of vegetable protein (Taru et al., 2008). The crop is native to South America, Mexico, and Central America. It was first cultivated in a valley in Peru. The leading world producers of the crop are China, India, Nigeria, USA, and Senegal. Nigeria ranks third among the major producers (Abubakar and Abdulkadir, 2012). In Nigeria,agriculture was the dominant sector of the economy before independence;with groundnut cultivation as one of the vital areas of its economic built up (Ani et al, 2013).

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