Properties of Chemically Treated Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) Fibres
Keywords:sodium hydroxide (NaOH), acetic acid, silica bodies, fibre surface, tensile strength, chemical composition, fibre morphology
Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) fibres have been used in the production of many types of biocomposites, such as fibreboards and fibre-reinforced plastic composite. Hence, the understanding of the EFB characteristic is very important in determining the quality of the products. In this study, the physical, mechanical, anatomical and surface properties of the EFB fibres have been analysed, and the properties of two types of treated EFB fibres; 1) alkaline treated fibre, and 2) acid treated fibres were investigated. The fibres were treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and acetic acid at different concentration levels (0.2, 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8%). The effects of the treatments towards the physical, chemical, mechanical and anatomical properties of EFB fibre after they were subjected to thermo-mechanical pulping (TMP) were studied along with the chemical composition, tensile strength and fibre morphology of the treated fibres. The results from the study indicated that the concentration levels of both NaOH and acetic acid had influenced the fibre properties.