Development of Binderless Fiberboards from Steam-exploded and Oxidized Oil Palm Wastes

Elizabeth Mejía Henao, Germán C. Quintana, Babatunde O. Ogunsile

Abstract


Binderless fiberboards were made from oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) empty fruit bunches with two treatments: steam explosion and Fenton reagent oxidation. Fiberboards were prepared with a targeted density of 1.20 g/cm3 and a thickness of 4 mm. A factorial experimental design 22 with two center repetitions and one repetition was applied for each treatment. The oil palm waste was oxidized with Fenton reagent using a H2O2/Fe2+ ratio of 2%/0.2% to 4%/0.4% and a pressing temperature of 170 to 190 °C. Steam explosion was carried out at a severity factor of 3.5 to 4.0 at the same pressing temperature. Both treatments were examined under two major response variables: mechanical properties (modulus of rupture, MOR, and modulus of elasticity, MOE) and physical properties (thickness swelling, TS, and water absorption, WA). Steam-exploded samples developed better physico-mechanical properties than those that underwent Fenton reagent oxidation. The best results were obtained from fiberboards treated with the highest steam explosion design conditions (severity 4 and pressing temperature 190 °C) to give optimum values of MOE 3100.09 MPa, MOR 28.49 MPa, TS 11.80%, and WA 22.74%. Binderless fiberboards made from steam explosion-treated pulp satisfied favorably well the Colombian Standard NTC 2261.

Keywords


Binderless fiberboard; Oil palm wastes; Steam explosion; Fenton reagent

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