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Ebadi, S. E., Ashaari, Z., and Jawaid, M. (2021). "Optimization and empirical modelling of physical ‎properties of hydrothermally treated ‎oil ‎palm wood in ‎different ‎buffered media using ‎response ‎surface ‎methodology," BioResources 16(2), 2385-2405.

Abstract

Physical properties are one of the ‎drawbacks of oil palm wood ‎‎(OPW) and they need to ‎be ‎improved via an appropriate method. The ‎response surface methodology (RSM) based on central composite ‎design (CCD) was used to evaluate and optimize the parameters of a hydrothermal treatment ‎and to create an ‎empirical model of the mass loss (ML, %), equilibrium moisture ‎content ‎‎(EMC, %), and anti-swelling efficiency (ASE24h, %)‎‏ ‏responses‎. This ‎study focused on the ‎effect of ‎hydrothermal treatment (HTT) ‎in ‎buffer solutions to control the ‎destructive effects of ‎released ‎acids ‎caused by the degradation of ‎hemicellulose acetyl groups‏.‏‎ A CCD, as ‎the most common RSM design, was applied with three treatment factors including the ‎buffer solutions ‎‎(acidic, neutral, ‎and alkaline with pH of 5 to 8), temperature (80 to 140 ‎‎°С), ‎time (40 to ‎‎‎120 ‎min), and a total of 20 ‎experiments‎.‎‏ ‏‎The results ‎showed that the ‎effect of the treatment temperature ‎was more notable ‎than time. The medium acidity (pH) variations in HTT can lead ‎to ‎the removal of ‎extractives and starch, hemicelluloses ‎hydrolysis‎, ‎the ‎destruction of the parenchymal cells wall, and ‎weight loss. Based on the variance analysis, the ‎quadratic and linear models proved to be highly significant with ‎minimal probability values (< 0.0001). The optimum conditions ‎predicted for the HTT were a pH of 7.3, a temperature of ‎112.7 ‎°С, and ‎a‏ ‏time of ‎109.6 ‎min.


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