Recycled polypropylene-oil palm biomass: The effect on mechanical and physical properties

H. P.S. Abdul Khalil, B. T. Poh, A. M. Issam, M. Jawaid, R. Ridzuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, 25-year-old oil palm biomass (OPB) fiberĝ€" polypropylene (PP) composites are prepared by five different fiber loadings (10, 20, 30, 40, and 50%). The types of OPB used are oil palm empty fruit bunches, oil palm frond, and oil palm trunk. Transmission electron microscopy has confirmed that the cell wall structures of the various oil palm fibers have different cell wall thicknesses and exhibit the same ultrastructure as that of wood. The fibers consist of middle lamella, primary, and thick secondary walls with different thicknesses for different types of fibers. The secondary wall is differentiated into a S1 layer, a unique multi-lamellae S2 layer, and a S3 layer. OPB fibers are compounded with PP using a Brabender DSK 42/7 twin screw extruder. The mechanical features such as tensile, flexural and impact properties of the OPBĝ€"PP composite are studied. The melt flow index (MFI) of the composite materials is also studied. Generally, the results show that lower fiber loading (10%) exhibits the highest tensile strength and MFI properties as compared to higher fiber loading (50%). Evidence of a fiberĝ€"matrix interphase is analyzed using scanning electron microscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1130
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • 25-year-old oil palm tree
  • Composites
  • Mechanical properties
  • Oil palm biomass (OPB)
  • Polypropylene (PP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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