Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fibres and Biopolymer Composites: Possible Effects of Moisture on the Elasticity, Fracture Properties and Reliability

  • Zhi En Tan
  • Chin Kian Liew
  • F. C. Yee
  • Didier Talamona
  • Kheng Lim GohEmail author
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is a widely cultivated tropical tree from which the mesocarp (reddish pulp), a part of the fruit of the tree, is processed to yield edible vegetable oil. However, the process generates a significant amount of oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB), which is regarded as a biowaste. Since the OPEFB contain a lot of fibres, this has led to several studies to investigate its properties for reinforcing engineering materials. Designating OPEFB fibres for fibre reinforced composite applications makes good economic sense because these fibres are renewable, biodegradable and cheaper than man-made fibres. This chapter discusses the mechanics of oil palm fibres based on findings from recent studies carried out by the authors as well as from the literature. The focus is on the effects of moisture on the mechanical properties of the fibres. The findings are applied to establish arguments for designing OPEFB fibre reinforced biopolymer composites such as starch-based composites.


Oil palm fibres Biopolymers Composites Moisture content Fracture properties Reliability 



We thanked Mr. Tan Teck Siong, from JEOL Asia Pte Ltd, for helping us with the acquisition of the scanning electron images of OPEFB fibres.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi En Tan
    • 1
  • Chin Kian Liew
    • 3
  • F. C. Yee
    • 3
  • Didier Talamona
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kheng Lim Goh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Mechanical & Systems EngineeringNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.NU International Singapore Pte LtdSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Singapore Institute of TechnologySingaporeSingapore

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