Strategy to Enhance the Sugar Production Using Recyclable Inorganic Salt for Pre-Treatment of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch (OPEFB)

Nursia Hassan, Nur Amirah Khairina Khairil Anwar, Ani Idris


Inorganic salts were used for the pretreatment of oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) to enhance the delignification and saccharification yield of OPEFB. The sequential pretreatment of OPEFB using sodium phosphate dodecahydrate (Na3PO4.12H2O) and zinc chloride (ZnCl2) proved to be an effective approach. OPEFB was delignified by 58.8%, producing a maximum total reducing sugar (TRS) yield of 0.97 g/g under optimum pretreatment conditions of 15% Na3PO4.12H2O, 60 min (30 min/stage) pretreatment time, 10% solid to liquid ratio, and pretreatment temperature of 121 °C. In addition, structural and morphological analysis of the pretreated OPEFB using field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and X- ray diffraction (X-RD) revealed major structural changes, such as the generation of porous structure, which allows for better enzyme accessibility. Moreover, recycle experiments showed encouraging findings, as the spent pretreatment liquid with pH adjustment can be recycled efficiently for at least 5 times without a substantial decrease in its effectiveness.


Palm oil empty fruit bunch; Pretreatment; Enzymatic hydrolysis; Inorganic salt

Full Text:


Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126