Characterization of Waste Clay from Palm Oil Mill Effluent and Enzyme Immobilization Study for Cassava Saccharification Process

Nurul Aini Edama, Alawi Sulaiman, Siti Noraida Abd-Rahim, Ku Halim Ku Hamid, Zainuri Busu


Waste clay recovered from palm oil mill effluent (POME) was characterized and used as an enzyme-supporting material for the cassava saccharification process. The clay was treated by the Soxhlet extraction method to remove the residual oil and then characterized using a BET surface area analyser, XRF, XRD, FTIR, TGA, and FESEM. The chemical analysis showed that the sample had a high amount of CaO (93%) with a minor content of SiO2 (1.378%) and Al2O3 (0.707%), with a surface area of 1.15 m2/g. The XRD analysis revealed the major mineral presence to be calcite, as confirmed by FESEM analysis. The FTIR results also attested to the presence of a calcite phase and carbonate groups. To study the performance of the waste clay for enzyme immobilization application, the recovered waste clay was further used as an enzyme supporting material for enzyme immobilization in the cassava saccharification process. Results showed that the enzymes were successfully encapsulated and gave the highest immobilization yield of 70% with 2% clay concentration. In addition, the encapsulated enzymes also enhanced the reusability, where the enzyme retained 32% of its activity after seven cycles of saccharification processing.


Waste clay; BET surface area; XRD; Supporting material; Enzyme immobilization

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