Lignocellulosic biomass has great potential as a low-cost source of fermentable sugar for the production of biofuels and high value organic acids. One potential biomass is oil palm empty fruit bunch, since it has high cellulose and hemicellulose content. However, its lignin content can hinder the access of cellulose and hemicellulose during the hydrolysis process. Therefore, an effective pretreatment for the delignification of lignocellulose biomass should be considered to reduce the lignin content. In this study, delignification of oil palm empty fruit bunch using peracetic acid and alkaline peroxide solution combined with the ultrasound method is investigated as a novel combination method of biomass pretreatment. The effect of pretreatment time was observed by using a peracetic acid solution for 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 hours, followed by an alkaline peroxide solution for 4, 6, 8 and 10 hours. Based on the results, the best delignification was achieved by pretreatment using peracetic acid pretreatment for 3 hours, followed by alkaline peroxide pretreatment for 10 hours. Both pretreatments were assisted by the ultrasound method. The results show hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin content of 14.13%, 77.27% and 8.6% respectively. The lignin content was reduced by 68.73% and the cellulose content increased by 121.85%, relative to the untreated EFB. This result was considered as the best pretreatment, since the pretreatment time was shorter and high cellulose content together with low lignin content was achieved, which will improve the hydrolysis process.
- Oil palm empty fruit bunch