Improvement of xylose recovery from the stalks of oil palm fronds using inorganic salt and oxidative agent

Yu Loong Loow, Ta Yeong Wu, Yung Shen Lim, Khang Aik Tan, Lee Fong Siow, Jamaliah Md. Jahim, Abdul Wahab Mohammad

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60 Citations (Scopus)


Lignocellulosic biomass is a plant dry matter that could be considered as a renewable carbon resource for the production of reducing sugar, which is an alternative building block for biofuels and chemicals. However, due to the recalcitrant nature of lignocellulosic biomass, researchers have focused their efforts on establishing cost-efficient pretreatments to reutilize the lignocellulose components within the biomass effectively. In this study, divalent (CuCl2) and trivalent (FeCl3) inorganic salts were used in the recovery of xylose from the stalks of oil palm fronds (OPF). Additionally, oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide and sodium persulfate were tested for their effectiveness in improving inorganic salt pretreatment. By using inorganic salt alone, FeCl3outperformed CuCl2in terms of xylose recovery, in which 75.5 and 59.3% of xylose could be recovered from OPF using FeCl3and CuCl2, respectively. An incorporation of sodium persulfate with CuCl2enabled a maximum xylose recovery up to 72.0%, with no statistical difference as compared to using FeCl3alone. The synergism between CuCl2and sodium persulfate was attributed to the formation of unstable Cu3+ions, which acted as a trivalent salt. Characterization studies of the solid fraction before and after pretreatment also validated the delignification of OPF. Hence, the combination of CuCl2and sodium persulfate was able to attain sugar yields which were comparable with other conventional pretreatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-260
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017


  • Biomass valorization
  • Free radicals
  • Hemicellulose
  • Lignin
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Reducing sugar

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