Eco-Friendly Extraction and Characterization of Cellulose from Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches

Muhammad Shahid Nazir, Bambang Air Wahjoedi, Abdul Wahid Yussof, Mohd Azmuddin Abdullah


Cellulosic fibers in Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches (OPEFB) are tightly packed with lignin, hemicelluloses, small depositions of wax, and inorganic elements. In the present work, eco-friendly reagents with low concentrations of 20% (v/v) formic acid and 10% (v/v) of 30% hydrogen peroxide were employed at 85 oC for the extraction of cellulose from OPEFB. The yield of 64% (w/w) achieved was among the highest ever reported. Based on the XRD, the alpha-cellulose content was 93.7% with a high crystallinity of 69.9%. The average diameter was 13.5 μm with structural evidence of separated fibrils as investigated by FESEM. The TEM analysis suggested that the material was crystalline and its geometry was a monoclinic structure. The FTIR spectral peaks representing wax and hemicelluloses at 1735 cm-1 and 1375 cm-1, respectively, and lignin at 1248 cm-1 and 1037 cm-1, were not observed in the extracted OPEFB-cellulose spectra. Based on the TGA results, thermal stability at 325 °C with a single degradation curve suggests the purity of OPEFB-cellulose.


Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch (OPEFB); Green technology; Biomaterials; Cellulose; Characterization

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