Empty Bunch Fiber Potential: Dissertation by UI Doctoral Candidate

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Empty Bunch at palm oil mill. by: Sawit Fest 2021 / Hendra

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – Evana Yuanita, currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the Department of Metallurgy and Materials at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia, is engaged in an intriguing exploration of the potential applications of palm oil empty bunch fiber.

Her research constitutes a key component of her dissertation titled “Potensi Serat Tandan Kosong Kelapa Sawit untuk Nucleating Agent Polipropilena Rigid Melalui Metode Glow Discharge Elektrolisis Plasma” (The Potential of Palm Oil Empty Bunch Fiber as a Nucleating Agent for Rigid Polypropylene through Glow Discharge Plasma Electrolysis Method).

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This dissertation was presented during the Doctoral Promotion Open Session on Monday, February 12, 2024, at the K301 Auditorium, Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia.

Also Read: Utilizing Palm Oil Waste for a Sustainable Environment

Evana highlighted the significant role of plastics in the past decade due to their affordability, strength, and lightweight properties. “One particularly important type of plastic is polypropylene (PP), a synthetic polymer derived from the fractional distillation of crude oil,” she noted, as reported by Palmoilmagazine.com, citing the official page of the University of Indonesia on Sunday, February 25, 2024.

Taking advantages on natural fiber as the material for polymer adaptive would have more superiorities than available products in many markets. One sample is that palm oil empty bunch fiber which is the waste from fresh fruit bunch to be crude palm oil. About 45% of the liquid waste is empty bunches. Evana told that empty bunches are having very big potential in Indonesia because of palm oil plantations development in Indonesia.

Evana continued she chose empty bunches as the research is because it is economical in price, delivering positive for the environment and abundant stock in this country.

“The main challenge in using empty bunch fiber as adaptive polymer is its development to be adaptive that could be massively produced by plastic industries,” Evana said.

Dean of Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia, Prof. Heri Hermansyah said that polymer adaptive material, particularly Nucleating Agent (NA) is produced less in Indonesia. that is why developing the material by taking advantage on natural fiber, for instance, empty bunches, would be the focus for further research in plastic industries in Indonesia. (T2)

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