Preparation of Microcrystalline Cellulose from Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fibre Using Steam-Assisted Acid Hydrolysis
Keywords:Empty fruit bunch fibre, microcrystalline cellulose, acid hydrolysis, isolation, steam treatment
The isolation of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) from empty fruit bunch fibre (EFB-fibre) using acid hydrolysis through steam treatment (autoclave) followed by ultrasonication has been successfully established. The important parameter studied was the concentration of sulphuric acid (5%, 15% and 25%) at variable fixed reaction time and temperature. The resulting MCC was characterized using FTIR, TGA, XRD and SEM. FTIR transmission at 1163 cm-1 confirmed that the structure of cellulose was retained after undergoing acid hydrolysis. Thermal stability of MCC increased after being treated with H2SO4, which was determined using TG analysis. The morphological features were identified using Scanning Electron microscope (SEM), which showed the diameters of MCC to be in the range of 10 to 200 µm. The structural property of MCC was studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and the results showed that the MCC produced has crystallinity index of 72%. The results revealed that the parameters used tend to influence the physicochemical properties of MCC produced. Therefore, the MCC isolated from EFB fibres will be used as precursor for future EFB derived nanocellulose as well as a promising subject in nanocomposite research.
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