ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE FROM OIL PALM FRONDS USING CHEMO-MECHANICAL PROCESS
This study investigates the characteristic of the microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) isolated from oil palm (Elaies guineensis) fronds using acid hydrolysis method. The morphology and size of the MCC were characterized using both Sherrer equations for X-ray diffraction (XRD) result and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The thermal stability of MCC was determined from thermogravimetry analysis (TGA) profiles whilst, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to analyse the chemical modifications that occurred under these conditions. The XRD results showed that the MCC isolated from oil palm fronds (OPF-MCC) fibres had an average diameter and crystallinity index of 12.15 nm and 60.1 % respectively. Both the FTIR and the XRD indicated that lignin and hemicellulose contents decreased while the cellulose-I polymorph remained constant. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) revealed that OPF-MCC had higher thermal stability compared to the OPF fibres. The study revealed the potential applications of the MCC isolated from the oil palm biomass as green reinforcement or/and fillers in the production of biodegradable biocomposite.
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