Nanocellulose sheets from oil palm empty fruit bunches treated with NaOH solution


The objective of this study is to produce nanocellulose sheets from oil palm empty fruit bunches(OPEFBs). Nanocellulose sheets from OPEFBs were prepared through the dewatering process usingvacuum filtration. Subsequently, the produced sheets were treated with NaOH solution to improve themechanical stability of their structure, causing them to be firm in water. The water absorption ofnanocellulose sheet increased with increasing NaOH concentrations up to 20 wt%, increasing tensilestrength, and Young’s modulus, but decreased when they were treated with 30 wt%. The diametershrinkage of nanocellulose sheets was directly proportional to the NaOH concentration and soaking time.The images of scanning electron microscope show that the porous structure of the nanocellulose sheetsappeared swollen when using NaOH. NaOH treatment above 10 wt% could change the crystalline formfrom cellulose I to cellulose II. The tensile strength and Young’s modulus of nanocellulose sheets couldimprove with NaOH treatment. The optimum tensile strength and Young’s modulus were achieved in a sixhourimmersion process with 20 wt% NaOH.