In this study, tapioca starch, which acts as natural polymer, was added in the blend in order to produce biodegradable product. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and tapioca starch blends were prepared by extrusion and the test sample by injection moulding process. Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) acts as compatibilizer while glycerol as processing aid was added in the blend. The blends were characterized by using melt flow index (MFI), fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and the effects of water absorption to the sample. As the starch content increased, MFI of the blend was decreased. Tensile testing were conducted shows the tensile strength and elongation at break decreased while the modulus increased as the starch increased. For the biodegradation, soil burial test was conducted and the loss in weight was studied as the starch content increased. Morphology studies were conducted in order to show the distribution between LDPE and starch.
This study investigated the effect of a dilute acid, lime and ammonia aqueous pretreatment on the fermentable sugars conversion from empty fruit bunch (EFB) biomass. The dilute acid treatment was carried out in an autoclave, at 121ºC with 4% of sulfuric acid. In the lime pretreatment, 3 wt % of calcium hydroxide was used, whereas the third method was done by soaking EFB with 28% ammonia solution. The EFB biomass was then subjected to a two-stage-acid hydrolysis process. Subsequently, the hydrolysate was fermented by using instant baker’s yeast to produce bioethanol. The highest glucose yield was 890 mg/g of biomass, obtained from the sample which underwent lime pretreatment. The highest bioethanol yield of 6.1mg/g of glucose was achieved from acid pretreatment. This showed that the acid pretreatment gave the most fermentable sugars compared to the other two pretreatments.