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Committee of the Global Engineers & Technologists Review Chief Editor Ahmad Mujahid Ahmad Zaidi, MALAYSIA Managing Editor Mohd Zulkifli Ibrahim, MALAYSIA Editorial Board Dr. Arsen Adamyan Yerevan State University ARMENIA

Prof. Dr. Ravindra S. Goonetilleke The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology HONG KONG

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gasham Zeynalov Khazar University AZERBAIJAN

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Youngwon Park Waseda University JAPAN

Assistant Prof. Dr. Tatjana Konjić University of Tuzla Bosnia and Herzegovina BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA

Prof. Dr. Qeethara Kadhim Abdulrahman Al-Shayea Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan JORDAN

Assistant Prof. Dr. Muriel de Oliveira Gavira State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) BRAZIL

Prof. Yousef S.H. Najjar Jordan University of Science and Technology JORDAN

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Plamen Mateev Sofia University of St. Kliment Ohridsky BULGARIA

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Al-Tahat D. Mohammad University of Jordan JORDAN

Dr. Zainab Fatimah Syed The University of Calgary CANADA

Assoc. Prof. Dr. John Ndichu Nder Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology(JKUAT) KENYA

Assistant Prof. Dr. Jennifer Percival University of Ontario Institute of Technology CANADA Prof. Dr. Sc. Igor Kuzle University of Zagreb CROATIA Assoc. Prof. Dr. Milan Hutyra VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava CZECH

Prof. Dr. Megat Mohamad Hamdan Megat Ahmad The National Defence University of Malaysia MALAYSIA Prof. Dr. Rachid Touzani Université Mohammed 1er MOROCCO Prof. Dr. José Luis López-Bonilla Instituto Politécnico Nacional MEXICO

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Abas Kotb Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport EGYPT

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ramsés Rodríguez-Rocha IPN Avenida Juan de Dios Batiz MEXICO

Prof. Dr. Laurent Vercouter INSA de Rouen FRANCE

Dr. Bharat Raj Pahari Tribhuvan University NEPAL

Prof. Dr. Abdullah Saand Quaid-e-Awam University College of Eng. Sc. & Tech. PAKISTAN Prof. Dr. Naji Qatanani An-Najah National University PALESTINE Prof. Dr. Anita Grozdanov University Ss Cyril and Methodius REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA Prof. Dr. Vladimir A. Katić University of Novi Sad SERBIA Prof. Dr. Aleksandar M. Jovović Belgrade University SERBIA Prof. Dr. A.K.W. Jayawardane University of Moratuwa SRI LANKA Prof. Dr. Gunnar Bolmsjö University West SWEDEN Prof. Dr. Peng S. Wei National Sun Yat-sen University at Kaohsiung. TAIWAN

Prof. Dr. Ing. Alfonse M. Dubi The Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology TANZANIA Assoc. Prof. Chotchai Charoenngam Asian Institute of Technology THAILAND Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Çimenoğlu Instanbul Technical University (İTÜ) TURKEY Assistant Prof. Dr. Zeynep Eren Ataturk University TURKEY Dr. Mahmoud Chizari The University of Manchester UNITED KINGDOM Prof. Dr. David Hui University of New Orleans USA Prof. Dr. Pham Hung Viet Hanoi University of Science VIETNAM Prof. Dr. Raphael Muzondiwa Jingura Chinhoyi University of Technology ZIMBABWE

Dear the Seeker of Truth and Knowledge Journal writing. It is rather like keeping a diary; some consider, but it is actually we have to take far more seriously. Therefore, you might prefer to present your unpublished work as a poster or a talk, as a easier way rather than writing it through scientific manuscripts forms. However, the 5 times nominated Nobel Prize, Fritz Schaefer, who have published 1300 scientific publications said, “if it isn’t published, it doesn’t exist.”. This is means, that only through a publication, they will elevate it to the status of a legitimate; completed project worthy of discussion. By the increasing competition for the publication of scientific research that has led to an increased emphasis on determining the perceived "quality" or "status" of a specific journal, then scientists, like everyone else, want to publish papers in journals, especially in where their work is likely to have the highest impact. On this, over the past two decades there has been a marked shift in the way scientific journals are published and disseminated; shifted the reliance from the print versions of most journals; everything is now available on-line. Many journals are available from more than one source, and sometimes one source is free while the other is restricted-access and very expensive. All of this would be a matter of the interest, were it not for the now pervasive and inappropriate practice to the quality of an individual's research. Considering on this, journals like GETview are also certainly only want to publish original research that will have a significant impact and therefore it necessary to explain how your paper differs from previous work, why your paper is important, and what new insights it presents. This journal has been nearly two years in the making. It was a natural outgrowth of the expansion and it was decided that the journal should be published as an open-access online journal. It was also decided that we would endeavour to publish twelve issues a year. Since the GETview is also an online initiative designed to provide a platform for the disciplines of the engineering and technology sciences where students and professionals alike can engage in provoking and engaging explorations of knowledge that push the boundaries of disciplinary lines, by opening space for cross-disciplinary discussions, this journal hopefully can inspires an intersectional investigation and consideration of the issues that scholars in the early part of the 21st century recognize as most compelling in our changing world. This is due to throughout engineering and technology science have had profound impacts, positive and negative, on humankind, other species and the environment. Hence, in an ongoing effort to acquaint our readers with the prominent scholars making up the editorial board that advises and serves the Getview, we are honoured to provide the independent's evidence-based and authoritative information also the advice concerning engineering, technology, and science to policy makers, professionals, leaders in every sector of society, and the public at large. Certainly, involving yours; with the interest and expertise, through paper submitted and published in the Getview. Prof. Ahmad Mujahid Ahmad Zaidi, PhD. Chief Editor The Global Engineers and Technologists Review


Global Engineers and Technologists Review GETview ISSN: 2231-9700 (ONLINE) Volume 2 Number 6 June 2012 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Publisher.

Printed and Published in Malaysia

CONTENTS Vol.2, No.6, 2012 1.




© 2012 GETview Limited. All right reserved

ISSN 2231-9700 (online)



Department of Materials and Design Engineering Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia 86400, Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor, MALAYSIA 1 ABSTRACT Biopolymer membrane from renewable resources was prepared by phase-inversion technique. Bio monomer was cross linked with 4, 4'-diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) and Calcium L-lactate as solid porogene. The membranes were treated by soaking with distilled water from 1 to 4 days. This is to investigate the morphology, water permeability and tear strengths of the biopolymer membranes. The results revealed the longer the soaking time of the membrane in distilled water gives the morphology of interconnected pores, even distribution, good water permeability with satisfactory tear strength as compared to less soaking time. Keywords: Biopolymer, Membranes, Phase-inversion, MDI, Permeability, Interconnected Pores.



Recently polymeric membranes have achieved commercial importance in a variety of applications. Polymeric membranes are microporous films which act as semi-permeable barriers to separate two different medium phases and come with different pore sizes and filter by retaining particles larger than their pore size primarily by surface capture (Mathias, 2006). Polyurethanes used in this study because of their unique chemical structure. The polyurethanes are among the most versatile materials that have many applications because of their good mechanical properties and chemical resistance, such as tensile strength, abrasion, oil resistance and long fatigue life (Jianjun et al., 2005). This research used phase-inversion technique that is a process whereby a polymer is transformed in a controlled manner from a liquid to a solid state. Phase-inversion can be initiated by solvent evaporation, thermal precipitation or precipitation with nonsolvent, the latter being especially well suited for the fabrication of microporous polymeric membranes (Zhang and Ma, 1999). In this process, interdiffusion of the solvent with the nonsolvent results in the decomposition of polymer solution into a polymer-rich phase and a polymer-poor phase. Consequently, the polymer-rich phase is solidified into a solid matrix, while the polymer-poor phase forms the pores. Depending on the conditions of phase-inversion the porous polymeric structures formed will differ in pore size, geometry, distribution and interconnectivity (Cheng et al., 2002). The advantage of this method is can be easily used for the incorporation of bioactive molecules as no harsh conditions (temperature or chemicals) are used (Gabriel and Suresh, 2003). A membrane is an interphase between two adjacent phases acting as a selective barrier, regulating the transport of substances between the two components (Kesting and Frizsche, 1993). In general, membranes are thin layers, that can have significantly different structures, but all have the common feature of selective transport to different components in a feed (Scott, 1998). Membranes technology has been seen as an alternative approach to the conventional process for separation applications because of the low cost and energy consumption, simple operation and the inherent of the membrane process characteristics. The worldwide sales of synthetic membranes was estimated at over United States $2 billion (Srikanth, 2008). The incorporation of renewable resources from the vegetable oils to form polyols in polyurethane membrane lead to new materials with outstanding mechanical properties encompassing the surface structure and the permeability properties of the membranes. Membranes may be homogeneous or heterogeneous, symmetrical or asymmetrical, and porous or non-porous (Nunes and Peinemann, 2007). They can be organic or inorganic, liquid or solid. Membranes can be classified, according to their morphology. The permeation properties of polymer membranes are strongly influenced by both the preparative route used and the final configuration (isotropic, asymmetric or composite) of the membrane (Nath, 2008). This study addresses the design of microporous polymer membranes for separation applications using the modified phase-inverse technique. Microporous membranes can be produces from renewable resources -

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based on diisocyanate. The parameter of soaking treatment with using distilled water in different soaking time was investigated to study the contribution to the membrane condition. Potential applications of these membranes are use for water treatment, skin wound cover and, in combination with autogenous chondrocytes, as an ‘artificial periosteum’ in the treatment of cartilage defects (Gogolewski and Galletti, 2009).



Virgin or Vegetable Oil (VO) was chemically manipulated at the laboratory scale using less than 2 litters of cooking oils. It was beginning with the preparation of the catalyst to generate the epoxides from the unsaturated fatty compounds, while the second stage comprised the acid-catalysed ring-opening of the epoxides to form biomonomer (Anika Zafiah, 2010). Biomonomer was named based on the starting vegetable oils of virgin oil monomer (VOM). Hydroxylated monomer and MDI was dissolved in Toluene. The solution was kept in closed Erlenmeyer flask to avoid solvent evaporation and water absorption. Then, the solution was stirred vigorously in the flask for approximately 45 minutes to mix all the chemicals. For the last 5 minutes, the mixture was stirred in opened Erlenmeyer flask to enable the solvent evaporation and then was poured into the Petri-dishes. The polymer was allowed to solidify at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes until it was half dried. Calcium L-lactate was poured over the nascent polymer gel layer by using sieve to have uniform distribution. The membranes were washed in distilled water to remove solvent residues. The parameter varied in this experiment is the soaking day which is 1 to 4 days of the membrane in distilled water.


CHARACTERIZATION 3.1 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) The porous structures of biopolymer membranes were examined using an ‘Analytical Scanning Electron Microscope’ (JEOL model JSM-6380LA). Samples with different days of soaking (day 1 to 4) with dimension of 10 mm x 10 mm had been prepared to identify the morphology of top surface, bottom surface and also cross-section area for each different membrane. The cross sections were produced by immersed the membranes in liquid nitrogen to get the fractured section for the membrane samples. The samples then were coated with gold-palladium using a sputter coater to make it become conductive. The SEM of 10 kV accelerating voltage was used to examine the membrane. 3.2 Membrane permeability The water permeability of the membranes was measured using UF/NF Membrane Permeation Testing Unit. Disk samples with diameter of 55 mm were placed in the glass column between two plastic fixtures. The membrane had been push with hydrostatic pressure that been kept constant along the experiment. A stable flux of water through the membranes was obtained after 30 minutes of operation. Each testing been measured in 20 minutes duration. The flow rates of water passing through the membrane during the experiment were recorded. These measurements were taken for 3 times with using three different membranes for each different soaking day treatment to get accurate average data. The membrane water flux can be obtained by using this equation 1: J=

Q A. ∆t


Where: J= flux (ml/s.m²), Q = flow rate (ml), A = surface area (m²), ∆t = time interval (s) . 3.3 Mechanical properties The tear strength test has been carried out by using Tear Strength Tester (Lloyd Instruments, model LR 30K). This testing used ASTM D1922 which is Standard Test Method for Propagation Tear Resistance of Plastic Film and Thin Sheeting. Four membrane samples with different soaking day were cut according to the standard specimen size of rectangular sample that is a 63 mm x 76 mm in dimension. A cutting knife in the tester is used to create a slit in the sample. The loads used in this testing were 50 kN at 10mm/min.


CHARACTERIZATION 4.1 Effects of Different Soaking Day Treatment to the Membrane Surface Morphology Figure 1 and Figure 2 shows the membrane treated with longer period of soaking with distilled water had even pores distribution with smooth surface. The cross section structure also had been influenced with © 2012 GETview Limited. All rights reserved


Global Engineers & Technologists Review, Vol.2 No.6


this treatment where the longer soaking day has produced porous structure layer compare to the other three days which have less pores distribution while for the shortest time had dense structure layer. This is due to the phase demixing process whereby the polymer-rich phase is solidified into a solid matrix, while the polymer-poor phase develops into pores. However, the bottom surface had nonporous structure as indicated by Figure 2 C1 to Figure 2 C4. The relationships between the conditions of soaking day and morphology of the porous polymeric structure produced by phase inversion technique were explained by the interdiffusion of the solvent and non-solvents of the mixture. The composition of the homogeneous polymer solution into two phases whereby the polymer solution is decomposed into a polymer-rich and a polymer-poor phase (Tsui and Gogolewski, 2009).

Figure 1: Optical Microscope images (10x magnifications) illustrating the effects of different soaking day to the membrane surface morphology. The top and bottom surface are denominated with A and B respectively, while 1 to 4 indicated the soaking day treatment.

The process will continue until the polymer-solvent and non-solvent system reaches the thermodynamic equilibrium (Zhang and Ma, 1999). The use of solid porogene for the preparation of polymer microporous, improved the homogeneity of pore structure as shown in Figure 2 A-4.

Figure 2: SEM images illustrating the effects of different soaking day treatment to the membrane surface morphology. The soaking day are indicated with number 1 to 4, while the top surface, cross section and bottom surface are denominated with A, B and C respectively.

Referring to Figure 3, the membrane pores structure of 4 days soaking has distribution of interconnected porous linkage and also consisted of many layers of pores compared to 1 day which also had an interconnected pores but the linkage of the porous are poor.

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Global Engineers & Technologists Review, Vol.2 No.6






Figure 3: Closed-up magnification on one pore of top surface structure from the membrane of 1 day and 4 days soaking treatment. The 1 day and 4 days soaking are indicated with number 1 and 2 respectively, while the x850 and x2000 magnification are denominated with a and b respectively.

4.2 Water Permeability of the Polymer Membranes upon 1 Day until 4 Days Soaking Treatment Figure 4 shows the plotted graph of water permeability of biopolymer membrane was increased when the soaking day are increased. The water permeability for 1 soaking day was 0.44 ml/s.m² while the 4 days gives 0.83 ml/s.m². The SEM morphology shows the membrane of 4 soaking days have more interconnected pores and well-structured compared less soaking day with denser cross section area.

Figure 4: Water permeability of biopolymer membranes of 1 to 4 days soaking treatment.

4.3 Tear Strength Properties for the Polymer Membranes upon 1 Day Until 4 Days Soaking Figure 5 shows the tear strength of biopolymer membrane had been increased when the soaking day increases. The biopolymer membrane of 1 day soaking treatment has tear strength of 103 kg/cm while 4 days is 173 kg/cm. This situation indicates that this treatment was influence the membrane morphology and mechanical property.

Figure 5: Tear strength of biopolymer membranes of 1 to 4 days soaking treatment.

The membrane of 1 day soaking treatment appeared to have top surface with pores, however the distribution of the pores were uneven and the linkage of the porous structure were less with denser the cross section area. This condition might be occurred due to the soaking at their early formation of nascent gel layer could remove the solvent residues and with that it is also might be able to help the newly formed membrane particle to have strong linkage connection among them and this can provide much better membrane structure. Meanwhile, the longer time of the soaking day might have affected the membrane

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Global Engineers & Technologists Review, Vol.2 No.6


morphology condition from the aspect of dissolving greatly the membrane particles together, so that interconnected porous linkage and strong molecules bonding can be achieved. The membranes water permeation of these four different soaking day were resulted with the membrane up to 4 soaking days have greater flow rate of water passing through compared to the 1 soaking day with the flux values of 0.83ml/s.m² and 0.44 ml/s.m² respectively. The tear strength of the membrane was also been improved as longer soaking day treatment with the highest value is 173kg/cm. The conditions of the phase-inversion process need to be identified for a given polymer to obtain porous structures of membrane with controllable morphology, interconnected porous linkage and uniform pore sizes and shape.

5.0 CONCLUSION The best condition of membrane preparation was provided by the membrane treated with longer soaking time of 4 days. This membrane have interconnected porous structure and even pore distribution, having the most permeable structure and also have the most greater tear strength performance. This criteria shows the membrane treatment was also contributed to the formation of membrane morphologies based on the phaseinversion process involved in this study. As a conclusion, the best membrane condition obtained in this study has the potential value for further research to be used in their specified engineering usage.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The author would like to thank the Malaysian Government and University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Johor, Malaysia for supporting this research.

REFERENCES [1] Mathias, U. (2006): Advanced Functional Polymer Membrane, Polymer, Vol.47, Iss.7, pp.2217-2262. [2] Jianjun, G., Kazuro, L., Fujimoto, Michael, S.S. and William, R.R. (2005): Preparation and Characterization of Highly Porous, Biodegradable Polyurethane Scaffolds for Soft Tissue Applications, Biomaterial, Vol.26, No.18, pp.3961-3971. [3] Zhang, R. and Ma, P.X. (1999): Porous Poly(l-lactic acid)/apatite Composites, Biomimetic process. J. Biomed. Mater., p.45, p.285. [4] Cheng, L.P., Huang, Y.S. and Young, T.H. (2002): Effect of the Temperature of Polyurethane Dissolution on the Mechanism of Wet-casting Membrane Formation, Europian Polymer Journal, Vol.39, pp.601-607. [5] Gabriel, O.S. and Suresh, G.A. (2003): Advanced Polymeric Materials: Structure Property Relationships. 1st Edition, CRC Press, pp.341-352. [6] Kesting, R.E. and Frizsche, A.K. (1993): Polymeric Gas Separation Membranes. A Wiley Interscience Publication, New York. [7] Scott, K. (1998): Handbook of Industrial Membranes. 2nd Edition, Elsevier Advanced Technology, Oxford. [8] Srikanth, G. (2008): Membrane Separation Processes-Technology and Business Opportunities, International Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine, Vol.50, No.4, pp.1-4. [9] Nunes, S.P. and Peinemann, K.V. (2007): Membrane Technology in the Chemical Industry. 2nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons. [10] Nath, K. (2008): Membrane Separation Process. Prentice-Hall of India Pvt. Ltd. [11] Gogolewski, S. and Galletti, G. (2009): Degradable, Microporous Biodegradable Polyurethane Membranes for Tissue Engineering, J. Mater. Sci., Vol.20, pp.1729-1741. [12] Anika Zafiah, M.R. (2010): Polymer from Renewable Materials, Science Progress, Vol.93, Iss.3, pp.285-300. [13] Tsui, Y.K. and Gogolewski, S. (2009): Microporous Biodegradable Polyurethane Membranes for Tissue Engineering, J. Mater. Sci: Mater Med. Vol.20, pp.1729-1741.

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Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka Hang Tuah Jaya, 76100 Durian Tunggal, Melaka, MALAYSIA 1 2 iphaery@ 4

5, 6

Faculty of Engineering and Technology Multimedia University Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, 75450, Melaka, MALAYSIA 3 4 7

Nuclear Power Division Malaysia Nuclear Agency Bangi, 43000, Kajang, MALAYSIA 5 ABSTRACT This research discussed on the results obtained for each sample that have been conducted to the solid fuel briquettes made of empty fruit bunch fiber and waste papers from view of physical performance which is dimension stability test after exposed to ambient condition. This solid fuel prepared by manual compression technique. This analysis important to know the capability of the solid fuel to sustained/maintained the physical shape after exposed to ambient condition. Experimental work shows that most samples of solid fuel have good performance for the test. Keywords: Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber, Waste Papers, Dimension Stability, Ambient.



Producing energy from renewable biomass is only one of the various ways of responding to the challenges of the energy crisis. Since the oil crisis in 1970’s the use of biomass as a source of energy is a topic of growing interest and debate as agreed by Gómez-Loscos (2012), Tong and Li (2012), Arias (2011), Vaclav (2010), Fernando (2009), Kaygusuz and Keles (2008). Corley and Tinker (2008) in their book discuss in detail about oil palm in Malaysia. In 2004, Malaysia had about 3.87 million hectares of land under oil palm cultivation. Currently, more than 80 percent of the oil palm produced is used for food applications like cooking oil, frying oil and many others. Oil palm is a perennial crop. It has an economic life span of about 25 years. Traditionally, oil palm is grown for its oil example like palm oil, palm kernel oil, and palm kernel cake as the community products. Besides palm oil and palm kernel, oil palm industry generates large quantity of biomass residue which is side products as stated before like fronds, trunks, EFB, palm oil mill effluent, palm fibre and shell that have not been fully commercially exploited. Through concerted research and development efforts by many research organizations including Malaysian Oil Palm Board, this co – products from palm oil industry have been found to be good resources for many application such as palm oil fuel ash a biomass residue (Brown et al., 2011), oil palm as a viable concrete pozzalanic material (Foo and Hameed, 2009), Oil palm ash as partial replacement of cement for solidification/stabilization of nickel hydroxide sludge (Chun et al., 2008), oil palm ash in concrete (Tangchirapat et al., 2007).There are many competitive uses of these materials. One of them is to utilize them as a fuel for energy production but in term of biodiesel fuel. In fact, Malaysian government has identified biomass as fifth fuel resource to compliment the petroleum, gas, coal, and hydro as energy resources, while palm biomass has been identified as a single most important energy source as stated by Sumiani (2006). On the other hands, the main -

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sources of biomass in Malaysia are domestic wastes, agricultural wastes, effluent sludge and wood chips (Yuhazri et al., 2011) and (Yuhazri et al., 2010). Biomass energy systems can be based on a wide range of feedstock like food and garden wastes (Romeela and Ackmez, 2012), solid wastes and sewage sludge (Despina et al., 2012), cellulosic ethanol (Gonzalez, 2011), coal and cattle biomass (Carlin et al., 2011) and many more. They use many different conversion technologies to produce solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. These can then be used to provide heat, electricity and fuels to power vehicles; using burners, boilers, generators, internal combustion engines, turbine or fuel cells. Power can be generated by co – firing a small portion of biomass on existing power plant, burning biomass in conventional steam boilers, biomass gasification and anaerobic digestion. Converting palm biomass into a uniform and solid fuel through briquetting process appears to be an attractive solution in upgrading its properties and add value as reported by (Sławomir, 2012), (De et al., 2012), (Nasrin et al., 2011), (Chuen-Shii, 2009). Biomass briquette is the process of converting low bulk density biomass into high density and energy concentrated fuel briquettes. Biomass briquette plant is of various sizes which converts biomass into a solid fuel. Briquettes are ready substitute of coal or wood in industrial boiler and brick kiln for thermal application. Biomass briquettes are non conventional source of energy, renewable in nature, eco – friendly, non polluting and economical. Process of converting biomass into solid fuel is non polluting process. It involves drying, cutting, grinding, and pressing with or without the aid of a binder. Malaysia has involved in palm oil industry over the last four decades and since then it has generated vast quantities of palm biomass, mainly from milling and crushing palm kern`el. Empty fruit bunch is the main solid waste from oil palm obtained from milling process. This biomass can be used as an alternative energy for combustion purposes especially in industry. Unfortunately, due to its poor physical properties EFB is not normally utilized as fuel. However, it can be use in optimise by upgrading and treating its properties. The method that can be used is the briquetting technique. Briquetting is the alternative method in upgrading biomass into a useful solid fuel that can be done through various technologies. In this research, EFB material will be mixed up with the recycled papers and it will be turned into solid briquette through the briquetting process. The used of recycle papers in this research is to utilized the abundant papers into something useful, thus helps in reducing the number of municipal wastes generated every year. Papers are selected as a material to be used compared to the other types of recycled wastes such as glass and plastic because it is known to be a good material for a combustion ignition. As for plastics, it may be compatible to papers to be used as ignition material in combustion, but it will spread a toxic gas while it is burn. The scope of this research is mainly focusing on the mixing of the empty fruit bunch, EFB and the recycled papers. All these palm oil mills is to be obtained, mixed up and to be develop as a fuel briquette at a certain ratio or percentage with the EFB as the major element. This fuel briquette is to be carried out with the performance tests and comparison tests in terms of its calorific values (Yuhazri et al., 2012a), gas emission (Yuhazri et al., 2012b), ash content (Yuhazri et al., 2012c), compression test at lateral position (Yuhazri et al., 2012d), crack test for transportation and storage purpose (Yuhazri et al., 2012e), but in this paper (part 6) only discuss on the dimension stability after exposed to ambient condition.



Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) supplied by Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) from one of plantation in Malaysia was used as reinforced material in this green composites fabrication. The EFB used in the composites was in a chopped strand form. The EFB type used was shown in the Figure 1(a) and the Table 1 is the basic properties of EFB used for the fabrication of the composites based on study done by (Nasrin et al., 2008).



Figure 1: (a) EFB in fibrous form, (b) Shredded paper in shredder machine.

Recycled papers are use as a matrix material in the solid fuel briquette fabrication. The reason to choose papers as recycled waste in this research is because due to the properties of papers which can provide good properties for combustion. Furthermore, it can act as a binder during the blending of papers and EFB during © 2012 GETview Limited. All rights reserved


Global Engineers & Technologists Review, Vol.2 No.6


fabrication stage. The papers are obtained from waste papers of the paper shredder machine. This is because the crushing papers have a standard size and dimension after is shredded inside the crushing machine. The standard size and dimension helps to ensure that the blending of papers and EFB is uniform. Table 1: Properties of EFB as raw materials. (Nasrin et al., 2008). Raw Material

Pulverized EFB EFB Fibre EFB Fibre

Average size of Materials

Calorific Value kJ/kg

<212µm 3 cm 2.5 mm

Moisture Content %

17000 16641 16641

12.0 16.0 14.0

Ash Content % 2.41 4.70 4.60

The dimension of sample briquette produced during sample preparation is 40 mm in diameter and 73 mm in length with average weight about 67.64 grams. The ratio of briquette produced is presented in Table 2 and Figure 2 is actual specimens. Table 2: Sample ratio and its serial number. Ratio of EFB to Paper 90:10 80:20 70:30 60:40 50:50 40:60

Serial Number S/N 1 S/N 2 S/N 3 S/N 4 S/N 5 S/N 6

There are several steps involved in producing a single briquette according to its ratio. Firstly, the waste papers need to be immersed in water for 24 hours and then it is blended using a blender to mash up the waste papers. Then, the blended papers it weighed again to get the weight of mashed papers with water. After dividing the EFB and shredded papers according to their ratios, the EFB fiber is mixed up with the shredded paper. Then, the compacting step takes place by compacting the mixing of EFB and waste paper into a solid briquette by using hydraulic press machine and cylinder mold. The size of the mold is 100 mm in length and 40 mm in diameter. The mixing is compressed into the mold until it gets to the desired length which is 73 mm. The amount of pressure applied during compacting process is 3 bars. Finally, the solid briquette is placed inside a drying oven at temperature 100 °C for 24 hours to remove the water obtained during the compacting process.




(d) (e) (f) Figure 2: Samples of solid briquettes in different ratios; (a) S/N 1, (b) S/N 2, (c) S/N 3 (d) S/N 4, (e) S/N 5 and (f) S/N 6.



The stability of fuel briquette is measured by recording the radial expansion of briquettes weekly for four weeks. Five locations are measured for each sample ratio and the average reading is recorded. A data for a stability test in four weeks on each briquette is presented in Table 3. © 2012 GETview Limited. All rights reserved


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Table 3: Stability of fuel briquettes Sample Ratio


S/N 1

1 44.16

2 44.26

3 44.26

4 44.26

S/N 2





S/N 3





S/N 4





S/N 5





S/N 6





From the Table 3, it can be deduced, the sample briquettes have experienced a radial expansion during week one to week three. After that the sample started to maintain its dimension and become stable after week 4. It also can be seen that going down the ratio from S/N 1 to S/N 6, the dimension of briquette produced is different. The larger the percentage of papers presence in the ratio, the smaller the dimension it get from the size of mould. Figure 3 illustrated the stability of each briquette in a bar graph form.

Figure 3: Stability Test of fuel briquettes

Stability test is conducted to check how well a briquette can maintain its dimension as time goes by and when it is exposed to ambient condition. Referring to Figure 3, the most stable briquette is S/N 1. This is because, based from the shape of the bar graph in figure above, sample for S/N 1 does not experienced large different in the dimensional changes through the four weeks time. Similarly to sample S/N 2 which also experienced a slight change in dimensional stability through the four weeks time of data recording process. From the result, it can be seen that briquettes started to maintain its stability after week three where no changes in dimensional length and diameter recorded for each sample briquettes. Samples with a higher amount of fiber shown more stability compared to others. In this case, S/N 1 and S/N 2 shown a greater stability compared to S/N 4 and S/N 6. This may be explained by the composition of the briquettes which higher in fiber content. Fiber is a long cellulose material that binds the particle in the briquette strongly. Theoretically, fibrous material tends to have a higher ability to maintain the briquettes dimension. In contrast, sample briquettes that contained higher fiber tends to expand larger compared to sample with greater amount of waste paper after the compaction process. This is explained by the original diameter of briquettes during compaction in the mould is 40 mm. After compaction process, the sample briquettes are placed inside drying oven to remove all the water content and moisture inside the briquettes. After removing the water, it is observed that sample with greater percentage of fiber expands in larger diameter from its original diameter, compared to other briquettes. Referring to Figure 3 it can be seen that S/N 1 sample recorded the largest diameter changes compared to others, which is from 40 mm to almost 45 mm. It can be deduce that sample with greater percentage of fiber tends to expand fast at the early stage but started to maintain its stability consistently from time to time compared to sample with higher percentage of waste paper. This point is supported by Olorunnisola (2007), in her study of waste paper and coconut husk briquettes, which stated that briquettes produced with 100 % and 95 % of waste paper in the mixture exhibited the largest linear expansion about 9 percent, whereas those with smaller percentage of waste paper recorded least expansion about 3 percent. The finding seems to suggest that the coconut husk perhaps had some stabilizing effect of the briquettes. Bruhn et al., (1959) had observed that the type of material briquetted is one of the factors that have appreciable effects on product expansion. Same goes on with Mani et al., (2006) in his study of corn stover Š 2012 GETview Limited. All rights reserved


Global Engineers & Technologists Review, Vol.2 No.6


briquettes which stated that the briquettes produced also had experienced an expansion in length after three to four weeks of storage. In his study, a stability of corn stover briquettes is determined in terms of dimensional expansion in the lateral and axial direction before and after four weeks of storage. The briquettes was stored and the results is the briquettes expand largely in the axial direction than lateral direction. But still, this point supported that there will be an expansion in terms of length of the compacted briquettes for a few times before it started to maintain its stability later on. The moisture content also will affect the stability of the briquettes. The sample briquettes must be stored in an open air or room temperature to avoid the formation of fungi due to the condition of the briquettes which absorb moisture from environment easily. This point also supported by AlWidyan et al., (2002) which stated that increased in briquettes moisture will increase the axial and lateral expansion of briquettes dimension. The increasing dimensional change was reduced with an increase in pressure.

4.0 CONCLUSION From the experiment carried out, it was generally found out that the characteristics of palm biomass briquettes produced from compaction of EFB and waste paper were satisfactory and compatible with the other researches that involved the palm briquettes. From the result, it can be seen that briquettes started to maintain its stability after week three where no changes in dimensional length and diameter recorded for each sample briquettes. Samples with a higher amount of fiber shown more stability compared to others. In this case, S/N 1 and S/N 2 shown a greater stability compared to S/N 4 and S/N 6. This may be explained by the composition of the briquettes which higher in fiber content. Fiber is a long cellulose material that binds the particle in the briquette strongly. REFERENCES [1] Al-Widyan, M.I., Al-Jalil, H.F., Abu-Zreig, M.M. and Abu-Hamdey, N.H. (2002): Physical Durability & Stability of Olive Cake Briquettes, Canadian Bio Systems Engineering, Vol.44, No.3, pp.41-45. [2] Arias, N.C. (2011): Production of Biomass From Short Rotation Coppice for Energy Use: Comparison Between Sweden and Spain, Master thesis at Department of Energy and Technology, Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Science. [3] Brown, O.R., Yusof, M.B.B.M., Salim, M.R.B. and Ahmed, K. (2011): Physico-chemical Properties of Palm Oil Fuel Ash As Composite Sorbent in Kaolin Clay Landfill Liner System. Clean Energy and Technology (CET), 2011 IEEE First Conference (June), pp.269-274, 27-29. [4] Bruhn, H.D., Zimmerman, A. and Niedermier, R.P. (1959): Developments in Pelleting Forage Crops, Agricultural Engineering, Vol.40, pp.204-207. [5] Carlin N.T., Annamalai, K., Oh, H., Ariza, G.G., Lawrence, B., Arcot V.U., Sweeten, J.M., Heflin, K. and Harman, W.L. (2011): Co-Combustion and Gasification of Coal And Cattle Biomass: A Review of Research and Experimentation (Green Energy - Progress in Green Energy). Springer London Publisher. Vol.1, pp.123-179. [6] Chuen-Shii, C., Sheau-Horng, L., Chun-Chieh, P., Wen-Chung, L. (2009): The Optimum Conditions for Preparing Solid Fuel Briquette of Rice Straw by a Piston-Mold Process Using the Taguchi Method. Fuel Processing Technology, Vol.90, Iss.7–8, pp.1041-1046. [7] Chun, Y.Y., Shabuddin, W.W.A. and Ying, P.L. (2008): Oil Palm Ash as Partial Replacement of Cement for Solidification/Stabilization of Nickel Hydroxide Sludge. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.150, Iss.2, pp.413-418. [8] Corley, R.H.V. and Tinker, P.B.H. (2008): The Oil Palm: World Agriculture Series. 4Ed. John Wiley & Sons. [9] De, Y.T., Xu, W. and Ai, H.X. (2012): Virtual Design and Simulation for Biomass Plane-die Briquetting Machine. Advanced Material Research (Renewable and Sustainable Energy). vols.347-353, pp.2432-2437. [10] Despina, V., Evaggelia, K., Stelios, S. and Piero, S. (2012): Gasification of Waste Biomass Chars by Carbon Dioxide via Thermogravimetry : Effect of Catalysts. Combustion Science and Technology. Vol.184, Iss.1, pp.64-77. [11] Fernando, G. (2009): Synergy in Food, Fuels and Materials Production from Biomass. Energy Environ. Sci., vol.3, iss.4, pp.393-399. [12] Foo, K.Y. and Hameed, B.H. (2009): Value-Added Utilization Of Oil Palm Ash: A Superior Recycling Of The Industrial Agricultural Waste. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.172, Iss.2–3, pp.523-531. [13] Gómez-Loscos, A., María, D.G. and Montañés, A. (2012): Economic Growth, Inflation and Oil Shocks: Are the 1970s Coming Back?. Applied Economics, Vol.44, Iss.35, pp.4575-4589. [14] Gonzalez, R.W. (2011): Biomass Supply Chain and Conversion Economics of Cellulosic Ethanol. Ph.D. Thesis at North Carolina State University. USA. [15] Kaygusuz, K. and Keleş, S. (2008): Use of Biomass as a Transitional Strategy to a Sustainable & Clean Energy System. Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, Vol.31, Iss.1, pp.86-97.

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[16] Mani, S., Tabil, L.G. and Sokhansanj, S. (2006): Effects of Compressive Force, Particle Size and Moisture Content on Mechanical Properties of Biomass Pellets from Grasses, Biomass Bioenergy, Vol.30, No.7, pp.648654. [17] Nasrin, A.B., Choo, Y.M., Lim, W.S., Joseph, L., Michael, S., Rohaya, M.H. and Astimar, A.A. (2011): Briquetting of Empty Fruit Bunch Fibre and Palm Shell as a Renewable Energy Fuel. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Vol.6, No.6, pp.446-451. [18] Nasrin, A.B., Ma, A.N., Choo, Y.M., Mohamad, S., Rohaya, M.H., Azali, A. and Zainal, Z. (2008): Oil Palm Biomass as Potential Subtituition Raw Materials for Commercial Biomass Briquettes Production. American Journal of Applied Sciences. [19] Olorunnisola, A. (2007): Production of Fuel Briquettes from Waste Paper and Coconut Husk Admixtures, Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR Ejournal, Vol.9, pp.1-11. [20] Romeela, M. and Ackmez, M. (2012): Energy from Biomass in Mauritius: Overview of Research and Applications, (Waste to Energy). Springer London Publisher. ISBN: 978-1-4471-2306-4. [21] Sławomir, O. (2012): Analysis of Usability of Potato Pulp as Solid Fuel, Fuel Processing Technology, Vol.94, Iss.1, pp.67-74. [22] Sumiani, Y. (2006): Renewable Energy From Palm Oil – Innovation on Effective Utilization of Waste. Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol.14, Iss.1, pp.87-93. [23] Tangchirapat, W., Saeting, T., Jaturapitakkul, C., Kiattikomol, K. and Siripanichgorn, A. (2007): Use of Waste Ash From Palm Oil Industry In Concrete. Waste Management, vol.27, pp.81–88. [24] Tong, Z. and Feng, T. (2012): A Study On Energy Saving of LEED-NC Green Building Rating System From Point Analysis. Advanced Materials Research, Vols.374-377, pp.122-126. [25] Vaclav, S. (2010): Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate. Government Institutes Publisher. [26] Yuhazri, M.Y., Sihombing, H., Jeefferie, A.R., Ahmad Mujahid, A.Z., Balamurugan, A.G., Norazman, M.N. and Shohaimi, A. (2011): Optimazation of Coconut Fibers Toward Heat Insulator Applications. Global Engineers & Technologists Review, Vol.1, No.1, pp.35-40. [27] Yuhazri, M.Y., Kamarul, A.M., Haeryip Sihombing, Jeefferie, A.R., Haidir, M.M., Toibah, A.R. and Rahimah, A.H. (2010): The Potential of Agriculture Waste Material for Noise Insulator Application Toward Green Design and Material, International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Vol.10, No.5, pp.16-21. [28] Yuhazri, M.Y., Haeryip Sihombing, Umar, N., Saijod, L. and Phongsakorn, P.T. (2012a): Solid Fuel from Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber and Waste Papers Part 1: Heat Released from Combustion Test, Global Engineers and Technologists Review, Vol.2, No.1, pp.7-13. [29] Yuhazri, M.Y., Haeryip Sihombing, Yahaya, S.H., Said, M.R., Umar, N., Saijod, L. and Phongsakorn, P.T. (2012b): Solid Fuel from Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber and Waste Papers Part 2: Gas Emission from Combustion Test, Global Engineers and Technologists Review, Vol.2, No.2, pp.8-13. [30] Yuhazri, M.Y., Haeryip Sihombing, Yahaya, S.H., Said, M.R., Umar, N., Saijod, L. and Phongsakorn, P.T. (2012c): Solid Fuel from Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber and Waste Papers Part 3: Ash Content from Combustion Test, Global Engineers and Technologists Review, Vol.2, No.3, pp.26-32. [31] Yuhazri, M.Y., Haeryip Sihombing, Yahaya, S.H., Said, M.R., Umar, N., Saijod, L. and Phongsakorn, P.T. (2012d): Solid Fuel from Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber and Waste Papers Part 4: Compression Test at Lateral Position, Global Engineers and Technologists Review, Vol.2, No.4, pp.16-22. [32] Yuhazri, M.Y., Haeryip Sihombing, Yahaya, S.H., Said, M.R., Umar, N., Saijod, L. and Phongsakorn, P.T. (2012e): Solid Fuel from Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber and Waste Papers Part 5: Crack Test for transportation and Storage Purpose, Global Engineers and Technologists Review, Vol.2, No.5, pp.20-24.

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