POTENTIAL OF FINES AS REINFORCING FIBRES IN ALKALINE PEROXIDE PULP OF OIL PALM EMPTY FRUIT BUNCH

Nurul H. Kamaludin, Arniza Ghazali, Wan Daud Wanrosli

Abstract


Pulp from the alkaline peroxide mechanical pulping (APMP) of oil palm empty fruit bunch, EFB, was fractionated with varying mesh-size screens to examine the effects imposed by size-specific fines on the produced pulp network. Occurring mainly as a result of refining, fines elements with dimensions almost resembling EFB fibres were the long tube-like tapered vessels from the arrays of adjoined cell walls detached along the perforation lines. These fibrillated vessel elements constituting the P250/R300 fines fraction improved pulp network strength by gluing onto multiple fibres. More profound strength enhancement was promoted by the segments of the fibrillated vessel elements constituted in the P300/R400 fines fraction. With reduced dimensions, these elements enhanced pulp network strength by filling the micro-voids in the pulp network. By eliminating gaps that would otherwise interrupt inter-fiber bonding, 12% P300/R400 fines fraction enhanced the EFB APMP pulp network tensile strength by 100%.

Keywords


APMP; EFB; Fines; Filler; Reinforcing; Vessel elements; Fibrillar

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