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Chemical and Structural Changes of Ozonated Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) in a Ribbon-Mixer Reactor

Nurul Suhada Abdur Rasid1, 2scopus Amnani Shamjuddin3Nor Aishah Saidina Amin4 orcid scopus

11. Chemical Reaction Engineering Group (CREG), School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia., Malaysia

22. Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Johor Branch, Pasir Gudang Campus, Jalan Purnama, Bandar Seri Alam, 81750 Masai, Johor, Malaysia

3Chemical Reaction Engineering Group (CREG), School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor,, Malaysia

4 Chemical Reaction Engineering Group (CREG), School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

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Received: 2 Mar 2021; Revised: 21 Apr 2021; Accepted: 23 Apr 2021; Published: 30 Jun 2021; Available online: 25 Apr 2021.
Open Access Copyright (c) 2021 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Agricultural wastes especially empty fruit bunch (EFB) are abundantly available to be utilized as a feedstock for biochemical synthesis or biofuel production. The components of the waste include lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose. Cellulose, the polymer of glucose, is the active component for producing bio-based chemicals. However, it is difficult to isolate cellulose since lignin, the most outer layer in the waste is recalcitrant. Therefore, the agricultural wastes need to be pre-treated prior to downstream processing. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of ozone pretreatment on lignin degradation and total reducing sugar (TRS) yield. EFB was pre-treated using ozone gas in a ribbon-mixer reactor. The chemical and structural changes of ozonated EFB were analysed. The highest delignification obtained were 95.7 wt.% and TRS yield was enhanced to 84.9% at a moisture content of 40 wt.% with 60 g/m3 ozone concentration within one hour of reaction time. Both NMR and FTIR spectra conferred major peaks inferring higher lignin degradation could be achieved using ozonolysis. Copyright © 2021 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group. This is an open access article under the CC BY-SA License (


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Keywords: Ozone; Oil Palm Biomass; Pre-treatment; Delignification; Empty Fruit Bunch
Funding: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

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