CRYSTALLIZATION-MECHANICAL TECHNIQUE FOR OIL EXTRACTION FROM OIL PALM EMPTY FRUIT BUNCH FIBRE
Oil palm empty fruit bunches fibre (EFB) fibre is a bi-product of palm oil mill. It contains 2 to 7 % of oil residual. The presence of oil residual had reduced the EFB fibre compatibility as filler matrix material. This research investigated the removal of residual oil from EFB fibre using a crystallization-mechanical technique. EFB fibre was crystallized using liquid nitrogen for 1, 3, and 5 minutes and then shaken in a mechanical collector for 5 minutes. All products were characterized and analyzed for oil removal capacity using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Images of EFB fibre samples were obtained using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results indicated that EFB fibre processed with the crystallization-mechanical technique had an oil content of 1.9890 ± 0.1786%, whereas unprocessed EFB fibre had an oil yield of 2.7126 ± 0.1628%. The dislodged brown powder had an oil yield of 1.3350 ± 0.0585%. FTIR analysis showed that the extracted oil from brown powder had an FTIR spectrum similar to that of crude palm oil. SEM images showed the changes in the EFB fibre’s surface pores over the different crystallization times.