Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol.   p.  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2020.0057

INFLUENCE OF SULPHURIC ACID CONCENTRATION ON THE PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF MICROFIBRILLATED CELLULOSE FROM OIL PALM EMPTY FRUIT BUNCH FIBRE

Author(s): FATIHA ISMAIL*; NUR ELIYANTI ALI OTHMAN*; NOORSHAMSIANA ABDUL WAHAB* and ASTIMAR ABDUL AZIZ*

The interest for microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) has been present within the academic sector since the 1980s, but recently this material has become commercially available as it is growing significantly in the industrial sector. Therefore, in this study the oil palm empty fruit bunch fibre was selected to be synthesised into MFC. This study focused on the effect of acid concentrations on the isolation of MFC from oil palm empty fruit bunch fibre (OPEFB-fibre) using the acid hydrolysis method, followed by ultrasonication. The important parameter studied was the concentration of sulphuric acid (10% to 40%) while reaction time and temperature were kept constant. The resulting MFC was analysed using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), x-ray diffractometer (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Based on the FTIR results, it was found that the structure of cellulose was retained after undergoing the acid hydrolysis process. The highest thermal stability was obtained when MFC was treated with 20% H2SO4 which was determined by using TGA. The XRD method was used to study the structural property of the MFC and the result showed that the MFC produced had 60% of crystallinity index. The morphological features were identified using SEM. The results showed that the particle size of MFC ranged between 10 μm to 200 μm. As a result, the parameters used tend to influence the physico-chemical properties of MFC produced and it has the potential to facilitate filler increase in wood free papers industry.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.
E-mail: fatiha@mpob.gov.my


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