Bioplastic production from cellulose of oil palm empty fruit bunch

Authors: Isroi, A Cifriadi, T Panji1, Nendyo A Wibowo and K Syamsu

Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd

Empty fruit bunch is available abundantly in Indonesia as side product of CPO production. EFB production in Indonesia reached 28.65 million tons in 2015. EFB consist of 36.67% cellulose, 13.50% hemicellulose and 31.16% lignin. By calculation, potential cellulose from EFB is 11.50 million tons. Cellulose could be utilized as source for bioplastic production. This research aims to develop bioplastic production based on cellulose from EFB and to increase added value of EFB. Cellulose fiber has no plastic properties. Molecular modification of cellulose, composite with plasticizer and compatibilizer is a key success for utilization of cellulose for bioplastic. Main steps of bioplastic production from EFB are: 1) isolation and purification of cellulose, 2) cellulose modification and 3) synthesis of bioplastic. Cellulose was isolated by sodium hydroxide methods and bleached using sodium hypochlorite. Purity of obtained cellulose was 97%. Cellulose yield could reach 30% depend on cellulose content of EFB. Cellulose side chain was oxidized to reduce hydroxyl group and increase the carboxyl group. Bioplastic synthesis used glycerol as plasticizer and cassava starch as matrix. This research was successfully producing bioplastic sheet by casting method. In future prospects, bioplastic from EFB cellulose can be developed as plastic bag and food packaging.

Illustration Photo: Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) after palm oil extraction (credit: Palm Republik)

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Ag Sustainability And Innovation
Ag Sustainability And Innovation