The objective of this study was to determine the pulping and paper making potentials of oil palm (E guineensis). Fibrous material from the whole trunk (WT), empty fruit bunch (EFB, fronds (FDS) and depithed trunk (DT) were evaluated using proximate chemical analysis, fiber morphological and related characteristics. Effect of active alkali (AA) % as Na2O on kraft pulping properties and the handsheet paper propertie was studied. Proximate chemical analysis reveal acceptable cellulose content for EFB (43.51%), FDS (51.13%) and DT (53.80%) while WT (32.44) is unacceptable. Low lignin content obtained (17.8−21.8%) suggests easier pulping characteristics. The high % NaOH solubility of WT (26.05%) and FDS (32.1%) suggest potential of high effluent loads. Fiber morphological studies revealed that approximately 83% of fibers are ≤ 1.5 mm in length thus putting oil palm as a short fiber source. The slenderness ratio ranges from 33.44 to 82.80; Runkelratio from 0.40 to 0.63; flexibility co-efficient from 57.20 to 71.46 and rigidity co-efficient from 0.29 to 0.43. Studies of pulping properties reveal that as active alkali % was increased the percentage total pulp yield, % screened pulp yield, % screened rejects, pulp kappa number, klason lignin and tear index of resultant pulp/handsheet all/each decreased. Conversely, as active alkali % was increased the Brust index, double fold number, breaking length, tensile index of paper handsheets and pulp brightness were each enhanced. It was concluded that in pulping of WT AA% should be < 14 and EFB pulping should be ≤ 14 in order to have acceptable yield. Also in order to have acceptable tear index, AA% should be ≤ 16. It is being recommended that trunks should be depithed in order to have acceptable yield. The fibrous material from oil palm make acceptable raw material for paper making and are good hardwood substitutes. Paper produced when bleached can be used for printing and writing papers while the unbleached grades can be used for wrapping and package papers and for corrugated boards.
Onuorah, E.O., Nwabanne, J.T. and Nnabuife, E.L.C. (2015), "Pulp and paper making potentials of elaeis guineensis (oil palm) grown in south east, Nigeria", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1260/1708-5218.104.22.168
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