Comparison of cellulose nanofiber properties produced from different parts of the oil palm tree

Carbohydr Polym. 2018 Oct 15:198:313-319. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2018.06.089. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

Abstract

Cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) were obtained from three types of oil palm wastes, mesocarp, empty fruit bunch (EFB), and palm kernel shell (PKS), as well as the trunk of the oil palm tree, to compare their morphological, thermal, and mechanical properties. Despite large differences in the chemical components of cell walls in the raw materials, the production of CNFs from all parts of the oil palm were achieved in this work. The morphology and mechanical properties of the CNF sheets obtained from the trunk had advantages over the CNF sheets from wastes, while the thermal degradation properties showed no advantage. Cellulose crystallinity of the CNF sheet from the mesocarp and PKS had lower crystallinity (69.1 and 71.1%), and the highest crystallinity of 77.0% was exhibited by the sheet from the trunk. The value of specific tensile strength and specific Young's modulus were highest in the CNF sheet of the trunk, and lowest mechanical properties shown in the CNF sheet from the mesocarp. These results strongly suggested that the CNF could be obtained from all parts of the plants, but their properties may vary.

Keywords: Cellulose nanofiber sheet; Crystallinity; Morphology; Oil palm; Tensile test; Thermal properties.