Characterization of Delignified Oil Palm Decanter Cake (OPDC) for Polymer Composite Development
For decades agricultural waste materials have been a subject of study for the production of sustainable bioproducts such as biodegradable composite. In Malaysia millions of tonnes of palm oil biomass are produced annually including Oil Palm Decanter Cake (OPDC). In this study, the objective was to characterize the delignified OPDC for potential biodegradable composite development. Chemical delignification is a process of removing the lignin from the plant biomass by using chemicals. Delignification process was performed by treating the raw OPDC with 10% NaOH (alkaline treatment) followed by 25% H 2 SO 4 (acid treatment) and finally 10% H 2 O 2 (bleaching). The result of the treated OPDC showed that cellulose content had increased from 29.4 to 87.6%, while hemicellulose had decreased from 11.2 to 3.1% and finally lignin had decreased from 25.3 to 9.3%. TGA, FTIR and XRD analysis of the raw and treated OPDC samples supported the findings as well. Through morphological analysis of the treated OPDC using FESEM, it showed that the chemical treatment had caused the raw OPDC fibre surface to break-up and open its structure. At the end of this study, the treated OPDC was also exposed to lauric acid for hydrophilic properties study and the result showed that the hydrophobic properties had been developed in the treated OPDC and thus made it suitable for biodegradable composite development.
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