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A Comparative Study of Oil Palm and Japanese Beech on Their Fractionation and Characterization as Treated by Supercritical Water
Waste and Biomass Valorization (2011)
  • Mahendra Varman Munusamy, M.Varman, University of Malaya
  • S. Saka

Supercritical water treatment (380°C/100 MPa/8 s) was applied to extractive-free oil palm trunk and sapwood portion of Japanese beech and their fractionated products were comparatively characterized, for water-soluble portion and water-insoluble portion composed of methanol-soluble portion and methanol-insoluble residue. As a result, the water-soluble portion was determined to be composed of carbohydrate-derived products such as organic acids, sugar decomposed products and lignin-derived products, etc. for both species. The oil palm, however, shows higher yield of organic acids (12.9%) and lignin-derived products (12.2%) compared to Japanese beech, in which organic acids were 4.7% in yield and lignin-derived products 9.8%. The methanol-soluble portion was, on the other hand, mainly composed of lignin-derived products, and in oil palm, these lignin-derived products consisted of both syringyl and guaiacyl-type similar to Japanese beech. The methanol-insoluble residue, was also mainly composed of lignin to be 99.2% in its content in the oil palm, compared to Japanese beech 93.7%. Moreover, the phenolic hydroxyl content determined by aminolysis method was higher in oil palm (36.5 PhOH/100C9) compared to Japanese beech (16.9 PhOH/100C9). Furthermore, an alkaline nitrobenzene oxidation analysis indicated that, the methanol-insoluble residue of the oil palm was less in oxidation products whereas in Japanese beech nitrobenzene oxidation products completely diminished. These lines of evidence suggest that methanol-insoluble residue is composed of lignin with more condensed-type of linkages with high phenolic hydroxyl groups. In addition, the water-soluble portion could be utilized for organic acid production, whereas the methanol-soluble portion and its insoluble residue for phenolic chemical production, with oil palm showing higher potential compared to Japanese beech.

  • Supercritical water treatment,
  • Oil palm,
  • Japanese beech,
  • Carbohydrate-derived products,
  • Lignin-derived products,
  • Organic acid production,
  • Phenolic chemical production
Publication Date
Citation Information
Mahendra Varman Munusamy and S. Saka. "A Comparative Study of Oil Palm and Japanese Beech on Their Fractionation and Characterization as Treated by Supercritical Water" Waste and Biomass Valorization Vol. 2 Iss. 3 (2011)
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